Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Amanda and AunnaMarie

This post will end up being out of order, but I wanted to write it while my thoughts and feelings are fresh in my mind.
My sister Amanda and I weren't super close. We loved each other, very much. We just didn't have much in common. There was a four year age difference between us, and while I was more assertive she was submissive, I was decisive, she was more of a go-with-the-flow kind of gal.  I liked things kept to a minimum, and she was more sentimental and kept EVERYTHING. The list of our differences could go on and on, and with all of our differences, it was hard to stay close. But as I said, we loved eachother,  and durring these last dew years, I feel like we were the closest we've ever been. We did have one thing in common. We both struggled with infertility.
Amanda was married for eight years before she was finally able to have a pregnancy that lasted for more than a couple of months.
Her latest pregnancy was hard. Early on, she had a tear in her uterus and she was on bed rest for quite some time. During the past few months though, the pregnancy was going great for Amanda, and she and Nathan were joyfully anticipating the arrival of their first child, a little girl.
The last time I saw Amanda,  was about a month and a half ago, at her baby shower. She was radiant, and happier than I had ever seen her. Her greatest hope was about to become a reality. She would finally become a mother. I remember being so incredibly happy for her.

Two weeks ago, on Saturday April first, at around 7:00 pm, I got a phone call from my sister Lydia. She sounded upset. She said she got a call from my mom saying that while Amanda was at my mom's house that evening she had a seizure, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
As soon as Adam and Caleb got home from the priesthood session of General conference, we decided to go to the valley to be with my family. My head was telling me that Amanda would be fine because she was in the care of medical professionals, but my heart was telling me something different, and I was scared. We prayed so many times that night. As we were driving down, My brother Ben who was at the hospital with the rest of the family, was keeping us posted on what was going on. He texted that Amanda's baby was taken by C- section, and was not doing well, (We later learned that her placenta had ruptured, and that the baby could have been without oxygen for up to 20 minutes.) She was being flown to another hospital.  Then, a little later came the text I was dreading.
It simply said "Amanda's gone".
I began crying uncontrollably. Adam pulled the car over and held me and we sobbed together. Then the kids began to cry and we all held eachother as best we could within the confines of our vehicle. It was the darkest moment in my life, yet within that moment I felt love. I felt the love of my husband and children and the love of my Heavenly Father. In that car, on the side of the road on that dark night, I knew where Amanda was. I knew the plan of Salvation was true, and real, I knew that I would see my sister again. But I also knew that I would miss her, and that my life...that I, would never be the same.
It was well past 10:00 by the time we reached the valley. We went straight to the hospital where Amanda's baby, AunnaMarie was. My parents were there, so were Lydia and Ben. We hugged and cried, and waited for word on Aunna. Amanda's husband Nathan was there in a room with Aunna. He wanted,... needed to be alone with her and we understood.
We left the Hospital at around midnight and went to Adam's sister's house for the night. I nodded off at around 3:00 then woke up again a few hours later. The morning brought fresh tears, and I just wanted to be with my family. We went to my mom's house. Everyone was there, except for Ben who never left the hospital. While there, Adam and my brothers gave me a priesthood blessing of comfort and the comforting power of the Holy Ghost washed over me along with a peace "that pàsseth all understanding".
We all spent the entire day together. We watched general conference, we reminisced, we cried, we laughed, and cried some more. A steady stream of friends and family came. Meals were provided, Tissues, water bottles,  and hugs were never in short supply. I learned the true meaning of "Morning with those that morn." And "Bearing one another's burdens" that day.
Adam the the Kids drove home late Sunday night. I stayed with my parents and siblings in the Valley.
The next few days were a blur of ─úrief, family time and prayers for baby Aunna. Aunna was stable, but she was being kept cool so her brain and bodily functions could slow down and hopefully her brain would heal. I was able to visit her in the hospital on Sunday and Tuesday. On Tuesday night, they began gradually bringing her body temperature back up. On Wednesday afternoon they did a CAT scan on her brain. The results of the scan were devastating.  Little AunnaMarie's brain was so badly damaged from being without oxygen for so long, that she was having constant seizures and she wouldn't be able to live without being connected to machines. Her dad made the very hard decision to take her off of the machines, and let Go. We know that after Aunna's four short days here on earth,  Amanda was ready for her turn to get to hold her precious baby. A couple of hours after being removed from the machines. In the late hours of the night on Wednesday April 5th, surrounded by her grandparents, and a few aunt and uncles,  AunnaMarie Irene Dobbins passed peacefully from her father's arms into her mother's.
When I heard that AunnaMarie died, I felt like I knew all along that she was meant to be with Amanda. We just needed a little time with her to know and love her. Her life was a gift to our family.
Amanda and Aunna were laid to rest on Saturday April 8th.
The funeral was beautiful, and so many people came. It made me realize how many people loved Amanda and Aunna and were blessed by their lives.
My brother-in-law bore his testimony at the funeral. I felt a powerful and profound peace as he spoke of families being eternal. I know, as he does, that through our Savior Jesus Christ, and because of His Atonement and His restored Gospel here on the earth, that I will be reunited with Amanda and Aunna. Until that wonderful day comes, I will do my best to follow Amanda's example and love others more unconditionally and be more kind and supportive.
I love you Amanda and Aunna.
'Til we meet again.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

First snowmobile ride of the SEASON!

Monday January 16th was Martin Luther King Jr day, so the kids didn't have school.
We decided to spend the day together so we all went with Adam on the route then pulled off the road by Green's Peak, unloaded the Snowmobiles and went for a ride! We hadn't gone very far when we came upon a family who's truck was completely stuck in the Snow. It took about an hour of digging and and pulling with the Snowmobiles to get them out, but we did it. It felt great to give them a hand!
Once we got on our way again, we had a wonderful time riding. The snow and weather were perfect. We rode for a bit to a hill where we stopped and did a little sledding and snowboarding. I don't always enjoy snowmobiling, but that ride was just so fun!

Cold Boys, Cool Girls

On the weekend of January 15th, Adam and Caleb went to the annual Boy Scout Klondike Campout. It's a snow campout that the boys in our ward go to every year. The only problem was that this year, there was no SNOW! It sounds like it was still pretty cold there, but they had a good time anyway. 
With the boys gone, the girls decided they wanted to have some friends over for a "Non- sleepover". Basically, it would be all the fun of a sleepover, without having the girls actually sleepover! They invited six friends over and watched "Once I was a Beehive", played a Mafia, and had a little dance party! The girls all got along great and had a fun time together!
I'm grateful that the Trio have great friends.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Years Eve

We had a BLAST partying with the Carpenters on New Years eve! We had pizza, and tons of other yummy food. We played a super funny game where we had to guess what we were all saying with these crazy things in our mouths. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time! The kids watched a movie while the rest of us should played rook until it was time to ring in the new year. Elana opened a bottle of sparkling cider and we all toasted to a great new year.

2016 was an amazing year for our family. 
Adam built and sold quite a few spec. homes, and his Grading and excavating Business continues to be successful. My preschool is a huge blessing and helped us afford to travel the country on the most epic road trip ever! The trio continue to grow stronger and healthy and have all had much success thru out the year.  We are grateful to our Heavenly Father who has blessed us with so much this year and every year!


We had another wonderful Christmas this Year!
On the Tuesday before Christmas, Cousin Elana made and served us an awesome dinner. We decorated Gingerbread houses, and played a fun gift pass around game.

On Thursday the 22nd, we took our family out to eat at Charlie Clarks Steak house, then over to Show Low to watch "The Forgotten Carols". The show was beautifully done. All of the performers did an amazing job and we the spirit of Christmas filled each of us. When we left, Eliza said, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I like Forgotten Carols more than Wicked!" (If you know how much Eliza loves "Wicked" you know that that was quite the compliment)

On Friday the 23rd we invited the Solomons over to watch "Elf" with us. It's one of our favorite Christmas movies. It had all of us laughing out loud!

Christmas Eve was a peaceful quiet day at home for us. We watched some more of our favorite Christmas movies and just spent time together getting the house tidied up and ready for Christmas. It began snowing late in the evening and we were excited to know that we'd have a white Christmas!

We woke up early on Christmas day and opened our gifts. Then, we got ready for church and enjoyed a wonderful Sacrament meeting. We loved singing and listening to sacred Christmas Carols with our ward family. When church was over, I made some rolls to take down to the valley and we loaded up and drove down to Mesa to spend some time with our families. Our first stop was the Anderson home where we saw most of the Gurrs and were able to wish them a Merry Christmas.
Then, we went to Ben's house where most of the Quist family was gathered. We had a delicious dinner and fun visit with everyone. 

We stayed the night in Mesa, and the following morning Adam and Eliza and Caleb headed to the sand dunes near Yuma to buggy ride with several members of the Gurr Family. They had a great time riding and playing in the sand and thank goodness no one was injured! It sounded like there were some close calls, but it didn't stop them from having FUN!

Sarah and I went to Prescott to be with the Hulses for a few days. We played games, did some shopping, went out to eat and put together puzzles. We loved it! 

The Thursday following Christmas, we all met up again in Florence to visit with Malorie and the Dodds Family who were visiting from out of state. Grandpa Gurr treated us all to Amazing Jakes on Thursday night. Afterwards, we got together at Richard and Calli's house for a white elephant Gift exchange party.

 On Friday morning we went for a buggy Ride and that evening had a fun date night with some of Adam's siblings and their Spouses. It was really fun. 

We left Florence early Saturday morning to attend the funeral of my uncle Vic Wilson. We were sad, knowing that he'll be missed by his loved ones, but we rejoice in the knowledge of the plan of Salvation and knowing that Vic will live again and be reunited with his family again. It was a perfect way to end the Christmas season. It served as a reminder of why we celebrate the Birth of our Savior. Because he was born, and showed us how to live, and died for us and was resurrected, all mankind has the power to break the bonds of death and live eternally with their loved ones again! And that's worth celebrating.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! December 12th

On the 12th we celebrated the Trio's 13th birthday. Their birthday was on a Monday so I was able to deliver a pizza to each of them to share with their friends during lunch at school.  When they came home from school, they found that the Carpenters had "Heart Attacked" their bedroom doors! They loved it! It was our Family's turn to help clean the church that evening so we went and cleaned. I was so proud of how cheerful the kids were, considering they were cleaning the church on their birthday! After cleaning we went out to eat at Trappers in Taylor, then went to Dairy Queen for dessert. We got home and they opened their presents which included new rip-sticks, pj's, a new game and a few other fun things.
Having three teenagers in our home is so fun! We love Eliza, Sarah And Caleb so much and are so proud of them! They really are the greatest children a parent could hope for!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend November 24th-26

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with the Quist family this year. We stayed at my parents house, and went over to Paul and Beth's house for a wonderful feast with my parents, Grandma and Grandpa Burk, most of my siblings and Nathan and Valerie's family. It was so much fun and the food was great!

The day after Thanksgiving we went on a buggy ride up Four Peaks with the Hulses. The views were incredible and we all loved it.

Saturday was spent going on more buggy rides with more of my siblings in the morning and then we headed back home to Taylor that afternoon. 
We have so much to be grateful for, most of all for our wonderful families whom we have so much fun with and get to make so many wonderful memories with. We are especially thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ who's atonement has made it possible for our family bonds to continue beyond this life and thru out eternity.