Monday, January 19, 2015


Surprise!!! I was inspired to go to the retinologist for Christmas break, and didn't even know it!  Turns out that the doc saw a lot of bleeding going on in my eye!  They call it "radiation retinophay," from the radiation that was done on my right (blind) eye a year and a half ago. I had no idea I would need to worry about that-- oops!  It's a good thing this doc knew what to look for.  He's also the one who discovered I had a brain tumor 4 years ago.  He knows his stuff!  Anyway, he said that he hasn't seen this in 5 years, and if I didn't get it treated, the pressure from new vessels forming and so much blood would get so irritating, that I'd need it removed and would have to get a glass eye!!  Ewww!  No thank you!!  I'm glad there's a treatment he could do for me!  Here's what my good left eye looks like:
Gratefully, this eye is not showing much diabetic retinopathy-- what a blessing for having had diabetes for 24 years!  The doctor told me, "Someone is smiling down on you!"

And now.... here's what the right eye looked like!  Crazy!!

He brought in all his nurses and assistants for the educational experience (and he knew I'd be fine sharing).  He told me to give them a run-down of my last four years with this eye in one minute, and then told them why they would treat a blind eye.  He started laser surgery right away, but didn't do it all that night, since I was on my way to a family holiday party. :)

The next morning at 8, my mom drove with me for the yucky many shots in the eye (I won't include any pictures or videos of this!) and the rest of the laser treatment.  It wasn't too bad, and I was so grateful to be on Christmas break from school!  So glad Mom could be with me all day, too, and help me grade all the papers I did before the numbness wore off and I felt immense pain and exhaustion!
I was pretty swollen for several hours!!
Later that evening, just as Tyler was about to come home, I was crying in terrible pain, and I asked for a blessing as soon as he got home.  I was immediately feeling better, took a Lortab to sleep it off, and was in music less pain for the next couple weeks.  It's pretty well worn off, now!  So many tender mercies are seen in this experience!  I'm so grateful Heavenly Father continues to have a hand in my life and watch over me.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Check Our Adoption/Family Blog for Updates!

Hello!  We have finished the adoption process, and part of what we did to prepare was start an adoption blog about our family so people can get to know us (and for me not to put our last name or other private info online).  People looking for a couple to adopt their child like to see more pictures and that they will potentially see pictures of their child someday, so we wanted to increase our chances of being selected! So feel free to check us out at:

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Brian and Becky's Wedding!

I'm so grateful for the wonderful day we were able to enjoy with my brother Brian marrying Becky.  Laura's family came, the weather was perfect, we spent the day where I have college and MTC memories, and best of all: all my siblings, their spouses, and my parents were in the temple together for the first time!  What a happy, wonderful feeling.  And, after looking through these pictures again, my heart swells with love--- I love all these sweet, darling people that make up our family.  So cute!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Grateful for Priesthood Blessings

Last night we had both sets of our parents over for a Father's Day dinner!  These four people mean so much to us and have lived such lives of goodness and service.  We wanted to thank them for their many hours of work on the house, and show them around all the re-modeled rooms!  We couldn't have made it without them.  We are deeply grateful for their unending service and faithful examples to us. 

Being Father's Day, I wanted to make it really special for them, and we worked cleaning, gardening, cooking, and were looking forward to this!  However, in the morning, before church, I suddenly was feeling very weak, achy, sore-throaty, and tired.  I had lots of nausea through church and didn't quite make it all three hours.  As our parents came over, I prayed I could make it through.  We had such a lovely visit, and at the dinner table I enjoyed more of their stories and experiences they shared.  But I didn't feel like eating much at all.  I gradually got worse, and eventually went to check my temperature and lay down on the bed.  I held it in while they were there, and didn't want to ruin their visit.  But as time drew on, and Tyler grew concerned, he offered to have me get a priesthood blessing before they leave.  I'm so glad he did!

I've always appreciated my dad's inspired, gifted way of giving blessings.  He uses his knowledge, his love, and his whole heart to say just what needs to be said.  I usually have Tyler give me the blessing, but Tyler gave me one just a week before with the carpal tunnel surgery, and with it being Father's Day, I thought it would be pretty special to have my dad give it.  He seemed happy, and so we gathered and bowed our heads. 

The power of the priesthood is real.  The words spoken in blessings I have received have felt as special counsel and instruction and comfort from Heavenly Father.  In the blessing, I was counseled to pace myself, to trust and listen to Tyler who wants so much to care for me, and to be open to be where I need to be so future opportunities can happen.  Wow!  I was also told how much Heavenly Father cares for me and watches over me.  I was blessed that I could do well in the last few weeks of teaching school and fulfilling my responsibilities there, and that I would be led in the right directions for the future.  What wonderful, specific words, and more were given!

I sure feel bad when I have to have a substitute, and especially at the end of the year when I'm still enjoying my class and don't want it to end, I really hate to miss school.  But today I stayed home all day, fighting a fever, chills, terrible sore throat, congestion, muscle aches, and bad headache.  I'm so thankful I was able to receive a blessing last night, and that I am already feeling well enough to blog about this.  By the way, my carpal tunnel surgery went well and it's healing much more!  And it's so nice to sleep better at night!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dixie Relay in St. George!

I was so blessed to be asked by my wonderful friend Katee to go with her sister Kelsee, her husband Riley, and two of Katee's friends Hollianne and Angela to run in this year's Red Rock Relay-the one-day Dixie version! My new favorite!!  I was sad my body wasn't up for a relay last September after radiation.  I had come to the realization that running for two days wasn't do-able for me when I would only be getting two hours of sleep at night.  So after having to back out of that relay last September, I was ELATED to get asked in January to join Katee's team running a very DOABLE one day relay in sunny southern Utah!
And the best part of all, I would get to run with my 2nd family--the Balmforths--and with my best friend Tyler!!  I grew up living nextdoor to the Balmforths and babysat them for years as their kids grew up.  Now Katee, a return missionary from Tacoma, and Kelsee, happily married, are grown up and love running too!  Their parents, my 2nd parents Lee and Cindy, were there to cheer us on too!

In fact, Lee and Cindy arranged meals, a wonderful home for us to rent for the weekend, and provided more fun people to talk to while we were there.  It was fun to have a 3-car caravan for most of our run, with a team of only 6 people!  Lee and Cindy in their car, Tyler in our car, and the Pathfinder.  With all three, we always knew along the way we would have somebody looking out for us on our run to get water, to ask if we were doing okay, and most of all-- to HONK and cheer us on! 
 I love the feeling of these relay races.  We're all in it together, working as a team for a common goal.  I love running for a team rather than for myself, and we all pitch in until we get the race done!  This race presented an extra challenge for us, because Hollianne had just torn her miniscus (sp?) in a rather funny but dangerous basketball incident.  She still came-- I'm so glad, what a fun, happy, friendly gal!! And so is her amazing sister, Angela! So the other 5 of us ran 2 or 3 extra miles beyond our two legs so we finish with those of us there!
My first 7 miles were through the beautiful little town of Santa Clara, also quite the nostalgic town! At about mile 5, I had a big hill to climb, and it's all I could do to keep a jogging pace up the hill, but I did it!  The hard part was the last mile or so in the open desert, sunny air on flat gravel until the exchange.  It was also difficult to have two lanes of busy traffic going and no sidewalk to run on.  There were lots of rocks on the side of the road where I was running, and I was going to consider it a success if I didn't trip! My depth perception tricks me at times... but hey, I did succeed!  Not one fall the whole day! :)  I also was disappointed to have several people pass me, but I kept the positive self-talk going, thinking, "Hey, they are passing a girl with type 1 diabetes, and a brain tumor, who is in her mid 30s!"  I thought about saying this to the first few people, but just kept saying, "good job," instead. :)  Then, finally, when two ladies passed me, I couldn't resist and let them in on who they were passing.  They cheered for me, "Woo hoo!" and it made me feel good, but I told them I wasn't trying to make them feel bad. Ha ha.  Actually, everybody all day was very friendly.  I had several people reach out to give me a high five when they passed me! It's nice to see charitable and Christlike acts shown in even the littlest ways. :) One team even made a tunnel for me to run through after they stopped to cheer on a runner on their team!
Can you see the salt in the corners of my eyelids!? 

After I pass off the wristband to Riley and he took off, I got water, noticed the large amounts of salt on my eyelids, and rested for a bit!  We enjoyed good music that day, too, keeping us moving.  The weather was gorgeous, but as we entered the canyon, each one of us had the challenge of a very windy and hilly path to run!

I did two miles, uphill again, in my next turn as part of the miles we were doing for Holli, and then three others took a turn running as prepped for my last big run of 4.5 miles.  I was feeling tired, but okay.  I was worried about the wind, but knew if I needed, I could walk.  I REALLY didn't want to though!  As I passed mile 2, I knew I was in trouble.  The wind and air out in the open-space canyon was coming at me so fast, that I couldn't breathe.  Even though runners around me kept running without (it seemed) any problems, I had to slow to a stop to catch my breathe.  I felt my asthma from my childhood was coming back, and it was almost like an attack was coming on.  I tried to stay calm and keep my heart rate under control, and successfully, I did okay.  Tyler stopped often, and I assured him I was okay, but just really tired from the wind.  I checked my blood and I was getting a little low.  It was cute to see the whole team jump to my rescue, "I have dots!!" said Katee, and "We have Starbursts!" came from Angela and Holli.  I took them with me as I charged up the last big hill before the next exchange. (Oh man, I should have trained more on hills for this!!)  I got halfway up the hill, walking as fast as I could, when Tyler came to walk with me for a bit, and when we reached his car, Katee walked with me to the exchange.  What great friends and supports!  Can you see why relays are a great way to go? :)

The pretty run in Snow Canyon!

Stopping for a quick pic!
After that, I passed off to Angela who ran a long 7 miles, and then Katee ran a beautiful 5 miles through Snow Canyon, next Kelsee did a hot but beautiful sunset run, and Riley finished off the race with a huge uphill and a huge downhill into St. George.  I enjoyed cheering the others on, having great chats throughout the day with these amazing young people, stopping to offer water and "good jobs" often, and feeling the warm St. George sun.  I was looking forward to a shower, but would get that soon enough! We all crossed the finish line together back at the park and took lots of pictures.  I probably should have taken more, but maybe next time!
Katee ran her heart out before she passed off to Kelsee!  She is tough!!
Kelsee is on her way!
We stopped for a quick pic by this perfect sign!
Hooray, we did it!!
All that were there to cheer us on! Holli and Angela's two nephews met us at the park with their parents who live in St. George. :)

My BEST cheerleader ever!
So happy I got to do this again!

That night, we basked in the refreshing drinks from Swig, each took a well-deserved shower back at the NICE rental house, and had the yummiest pizza from Papa Murphy's with salad (THANK YOU, LEE AND CINDY!!)  We also had fun playing pool, relaxing in the hot tub, and chatting some more.  The weekend went way too fast!  We got up on daylight savings the next morning for church in Santa Clara (next to an awesome historical site!) and hit the road to get back and relax before work on Monday morning!