You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. some may be significant only to you. some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experience. - President Hinckley

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Gwendalin is 7! (10-24-11) I can't believe it. She is the only girl in our mix of kiddies and she is all girl! Except at dance (she runs like a football player- but we're working on that.) This year she gave me her birthday list and I did my shopping online due to Travis' health. Nothing arrived all she has been celebrating since Sunday - birthday cake, dinner at McDonald's on Monday with Uncle Matthew, presents arriving daily....she is thrilled to pieces. I have included a few pictures of her from her dance class yesterday ( I was able to go observe).

Here are few tidbits about our Gwennie Girl:

*Don't push her, she will do things in her own way when she's ready (like cleaning her room)
*She LOVES school
*She loves to play barbies and babies with her friends.
*Her favorite food is cheese pizza.
*She loves to help bake and cook in the kitchen
*Playing school or boss is one of her favorites
*She loves to make up songs
*she loves to make up dances.
*She is a great cleaner when she wants to be
*She loves Daddy Daughter Dates
*Father and Sons is starting to be ok, because we get to hang out and watch old movies.
*She loses more teeth than anyone I have ever seen....
* She does not like to brush her hair
*She loves to do her own hair
*Wearing dresses and skirts is a must (everyday if she could)
*her laugh is highly contagious and very hearty!


She's the middle dancer.

A Tired Doodle...very tired...

Dallin has recently decided that naps are "for the bees." There are days when he is an emotional wreck, but he won't nap and I'll find him sleep in the strangest places often after 4pm.....he's a sweet boy - he can sleep in any position- I find it rather amazing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Moms are allowed to be tired. And I would venture that dads are as well. These past 3 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for us. As I mentioned earlier, Travis starting having some severe head pain shortly after his elk hunt mid September. He ended up hunting again the following week because he had some friends fly up from Arizona. He had not had a break in this furious head pain since it started around the 17th. Finally, 2 weeks ago on Thursday night I convinced him that a trip to the ER would be a good thing. We called a friend to sit with our kids and went. 5 hours later and quite the cocktail of drugs he came home - groggy, but almost elated b/c the pain was gone. We slept that night. The next morning the pain was back. At this point we have done 2 CT scans and blood work. The ER doc wanted to do what is called a lumbar puncture due to his white blood cell count being so high - but Thursday night he was so tired he couldn't bear the thought - so we went back and did that on Friday morning. Again, everything came back normal. No tumors, no tick bites, no annyurisms, so with heavy narcotics to help with the pain - they sent us home to follow up with a neurologist.
Tuesday the neurologist called and we went in. He couldn't find any visible signs of what the problem might have been...but he did conclude that the lumbar puncture that was done on Friday morning had caused the pain to worsen because of a CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) leak. His pain intensified if he wasn't in a perfectly flat position. So, the neurologist sent us back to the hospital to do a "blood patch" and an MRI to see if he had a slipped cervical disc. Hospitals aren't very quick...and every doc you see wants to hear your we told it again - 3 more times. And everything came back normal. The blood patch went well and Wednesday he was even able to walk around.
However, Thursday (1 week since our first visit to the ER, and 2 weeks since the pain began) he didn't improve. In fact, he was talking with a friend who came over to check on him and all the sudden said "Brian, you have to leave." this was mid conversation. So Brian got up to leave and I was talking with him and I hear Travis say "Is this normal?" so I look over and he is not reclined in the couch anymore, but he is laying on the floor. I replied that yes it was normal since he has been spending so much time laying down. But his reply was "how did I get here, I don't remember, and I think maybe I fell." So that was concerning and Brian ended up staying. I called a CRNA that lives down the street and she came to see what was going on. He was stuck on the floor, unable to move really at all. Kristy, the CRNA, said that we needed to watch him in case he lost consciousness. Before all of this happened the neurologist called to check on Travis and was able to get a description of how the pain had changed and asked that Travis go back to the hospital for a contrast MRI of the brain the next day- but when the hospital called to schedule it - it ended up being that night which we were glad!
While Travis laid on the floor and Kristy, Brian and I deliberated on what to do, another friend stopped by to drop something off for Travis. Good thing too - Travis ended up needing to go to the bathroom, so Brian and Jake were able to help him to the bathroom and then when it was time, help him to the car and lift him into the back seat so he could lay down for the ride to the hospital. Travis' cousin Aaron met us there and he and Brian (and I) helped him in for the MRI procedure - where he puked just as they were finishing up.
Since then, he has gradually started to have less pain but is so fiercely nauseated that yesterday every time he was upright he threw up. Today (Sunday) it has been 2 days since any pain medication and he has been able to walk around a bit. He even ate dinner. These are huge improvements.
I think the hospital breaking through the pain helped the pain meds to work, because before he went to the hospital and was just taking the pain medication it wouldn't help at all. It has been a very crazy couple of weeks full of priesthood blessings, meals from friends and ward members, neighbors and friends watching kids on short notice and lots of prayers. I think he is on the mend (finally) and I am hoping that this pain will never return. It was frigtening to watch him lay in bed holding his head tears streaming down his face and telling me he would rather DIE than be in that kind of pain. Travis doesn't go to doctors - he saw a regular nurse practitioner, a chiropractor, several hospital docs, and he even let me use my essential oils on him. We only have major medical so this whole experience will be costly, but if I had it to do over again, I would do it exactly the same way. Pain that causes hearing loss, loss of balance, and overall ferocious havoc on a body is so scary. For now, he is really weak from laying down for days at a time and slowly but surely I know he can get back to himself. He never lays down during the day and I'm sure was going crazy with boredom just laying all day for days at a time. I am hoping we are on the road to permanent recovery....I'll keep my fingers he even ate dinner....that's a first in like 2 weeks....he's been living off of granola bars and saltine crackers. Pain takes away the appetite...and it shows.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jackson Hole Soccer Tournament

Hunter's team played at a tournament in Jackson Hole, WY this year. Travis took him along with a friend and his son and they all 4 enjoyed a weekend of "guy fun"....Hunter's team did fantastic! Travis was miserable and in pain for most of the time, but he still made it home...

This year's hunt!

Travis killed a nice bull elk this year. Hunter was so thrilled when he brought it home, he got a picture with it. Unfortunately, during the "pack out" Travis did something that really screwed up his back/neck and has had a permanent migraine since the 17th of September. He has seen a chiropractor (which made it worse - I told him that was a good sign and he should go back), he's seen a doctor and gotten 2 shots (cortisone and something for nausea), and today he had a CT scan - which came back normal. So, we are hoping we can get him out of pain and back to a functional lifestyle. In the meantime, he killed a year's worth of meat for us!