Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Bacon Run

Today was The Bacon Run. It is the motorcycle ride that Oakley, Chad and I promoted on the radio. It was a motorcycle ride from Shriner's Hospital that started at 8:00 this morning and ended at noon at Sugar House Park. The ride, which is sponsored and led by the Salt Lake City Police Squad went up through all 5 lakes along the Wasatch. After the ride, we were treated to a lunch from Rib City of pulled pork sandwiches, slaw and beans. It was delish! All of the proceeds are going to Shriner's. Arrow 103.5 also gave away a Big Boy Harley and an F-150 this year.
This picture of Oakley is going to be posted on the Harley Davidson web site as well as the Arrow 103.5 and FM 100 sites. They gave her this really cool leather jacket for the photos. She was hot, but told me this is what she wants instead of a car when she grows up. She is definitely my daughter!!! I will admit I had to wipe the drool from my chin a few times. I really want a bike!
We talked again with the "crew" from 103.5 and they kept referring to Oakley as the "Ambassador for Shriner's". She got her pics taken with a couple police officers and D.J.'s and we were told several times that it was nice for the riders to see an example of where their money is going and who it will help. There were over 100 bikes and Oak picked her favs to have her photo by.
Once again, it was an awesome experience provided to us by Shriner's. We had a great time!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Yellow Belt Test

This past Friday night, Oakley and I had our testing
for our yellow belts. It was a great night and we
both made it through. In our last belt test, we had to break a board with a side kick and this time we had to do an ax kick. Oakley was nervous she wouldn't be able to break one due to her recent surgery, but she had no problems! As always I was left in amazement of her.
It was extra fun this time because we had Dustin and Kylie with us as well as my mom and dad (who was nice enough to take our pictures) as well as my mother-in-law and Nana. We always have so much family support! We are very lucky!
Way to go Oakley!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

So, we finally got the picture of Oakley and I with the Jonas Brothers from the Stadium of Fire.
They rushed us in so fast, that I stepped on Joe's toes (far right) and had just turned around to tell him I was sorry and all of a sudden, the guy taking the picture, (who was really cute and Oakley found him more interesting than the Jo Bros) said," 1,2 and3" and took the picture. So, needless to say, Although the Jo Bros have their practiced, professional smiles on, Oak and I were not as prepared for the moment so I look like I am on speed and Oak was still flirting with the cute guy who was taking the picture. It was still really fun for her to do and something she will never forget.
We were able to view all the other pictures that were taken that night as well and even though there were other little girls, Oakley was the only one Kevin crouched down next to. He also gave her a hug while he shook everyone elses hands. It makes her feel pretty darn special. I happen to think she is just that!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stadium Of Fire

Last week, we got a phone call from Mike Babcock at Shriner's asking if we were planning to be in town over the 4th and if we would like some tickets to see the Jonas Brothers at the Stadium of Fire. We originally were planning to be gone camping, but this changed things.
A very nice lady had bought 6 tickets and donated them to Shriners and told Mike to pick one patient to give them to. Mike, being the great man that he is, thought of Oakley. We were given 6 tickets to go enjoy the show. I told Oakley and she said, "Well, I dont really like them that much, but I guess since the tickets are free we can go." I had to laugh.
A few days later, I got a call from the Jonas Brothers production manager asking if Oakley and I would like tickets to meet the Jonas Brothers. For someone who "doesn't really like them" Oakley screemed so loud!!! They could only offer us 2 wristbands and one of the people had to be an adult. Kylie was bummed, but she got over it.
We started out the evening with dinner at Brick Oven and then headed over to LaVelle Edwards Stadium for the big meet 'n greet. We had spent $50 on shirts and took Oakley's prosthetic for them to sign only to get there and have them say that we couldnt take any pictures of our own and that we could not ask for autographs. They had a photographer there who took our picture with the Jo Bro's and that we can "purchase at a later time if we choose to". It was a little disappointing, but Oakley is still on cloud 9! The Jo Bro's were shaking everyones hands as they went up to get the pictures taken, but they all hugged Oakley. We were only blessed to be in their presence for about 10 minutes total, but it was a great experience for Oakley.
After the photo op, we went to meet Chad and Kylie and find our seats. The person who donated the tickets had paid $120 a piece for the seats and we were right on the field with a perfect view of the stage. We were also seated right behind all the service men and women and the kids got a kick out of seeing all of them in uniform.
The 388th fighter wing from Hill AFB did a fly over and the audience sang the National Anthem as it was broadcast to military bases throughout the world. It was very emotional!
SheDaisy was the opening act and they did a great job! Glenn Beck was the "host" and he was very emotional through out. He also did a good job. Then the Jonas Brothers came on and all you could hear for a while was screeming! Like Oakley, I am not a big fan, but they put on a good show and we all had a great time. Oakley is now a pretty big fan. They also retired a huge flag at the end of the night by burning it. It was really cool for the kids to take part in that.
We are very appreciative of the people who donated these tickets and that we were chosen to use them. Oakley has had a rough recovery from her surgery a couple weeks ago, but since we were given these tickets, she has kept telling me how special she feels that of all the patients at the hospital that she was the one who was picked.
Thanks again Mike.... It was a night our family will never forget!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oakley's Surgery

Just after surgery. She was in a bit of pain.On the phone with Grandma Hansen 30 minutes later.

I am forever amazed at Oakley and with all she has to go through and knows she will still have to go through, she tries to have to have the best attitude. A lot of you have asked how this all started so let me share the story...
She has had 5 surgeries in her short life: Her amputation at Shriners Hospital was done when she was 10 months old. We were told to plan to be in the hospital for 5 days and we were only there 2. Since she was in a body cast, they told us to expect her to do nothing but lay on the floor for 6 weeks and 20 minutes after we got home she was dragging herself across the floor in an attempt to get to her toys. She got her first prosthetic 2 weeks before her 1st birthday and we put it on and she took off walking. Never had to have physical therapy. Astonishing!
Two years ago, in a 2 weeks period of time, we found out she has a blood disease called Von Willebrand. It is like hemophelia, but not as severe. She is missing a clotting factor in her blood which we were told would only be a problem if she needed surgery or got hurt. She gets nose bleeds that last upwards of an hour and bleeds a lot when she looses a tooth and she bruises very easily. 2 days after that diagnosis we ended up at Primary Childrens for a belly CT to see if she had kidney stones due to constant symptoms of a UA with negative results. About 30 minutes after we got home from the hospital, they called us and told us to get her back up there ASAP because the CT showed her appendix was ready to burst. She was already on the surgery schedule for the following week to have her nose cauterized to stop the nose bleeds so they did the appendectomy and the nose thing at the same time. Then 2 weeks later, still having UA symptoms, she had exploritory bladder surgery. That was a very long month!!!
This surgery yesterday is to help her leg grow straighter. Her left leg is 40% shorter than her right leg and is growing at an angle they call Valgus. She had an infinity plate screwed into the inside of her left knee so it can stunt the growth of that growth plate and allow the outside of the knee to catch up. The surgery was only a little over an hour and she will only have a scar about 1 1/5" long. In 12-14 months, she will have to have it removed. Since she is still growing, there is a good chance she may have to have this done a couple more times, but it is a wait and see.
She had to fast since 8pm the night before and they didn't take her into surgery until 1:45pm so she was starving! She didn't complain too much tho. They gave her Versaid (sp?) to help calm her before she went in and it made her so loopy!! They handed her a sticker of Donkey from Shrek and she looked at it and asked if it was a picture of her and laughed so hard she started to cry. She kept saying she felt "random" and "awkward". Chad and I laughed quite hard ourselves!
She came back from surgery a little over an hour later in a bit of pain, but after about 30 minutes it faded and she hasn't anything but Tylenol since. She will need to be fitted for a new leg in a couple months and she has chosen skulls and cross bones for the design. She is such a trooper! She is constantly amazing us with her strength. We say this all the time, but yesterday in the midst of her pain, she said "I know it could be worse." Every time we have had to be in the hospital we witness how truly blessed we are! We love her so much and are so grateful for all the family and friends who continue to support and help us when we need it.
Shriners Hospital has been one of the biggest blessings in our lives. They do everything for free. All the surgeries, prosthetics (which aren't cheap) and therapy are possible because of contributions of generous people. They have never charged us a penny and will continue to provide this care until Oakley is 18. I would selfishly implore you with every fiber of my being, if you are going to donate $, time, service, etc, Shriners is the place to do it.
Thanks again to everyone for all the prayers, phone calls, visits, flowers, gifts, and well wishes for Oakley as well as the rest of us. We wouldn't be able to deal with all of this without you!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Belt Testing

So, Oakley and I had our first belt test in Taekwando last Friday and it was awesome! We are now advanced white belts. There were a lot of people testing so it was mostly a group effort. We did our blocks, kicks and forms and then a bit of self defense and sparring with a partner. Near the end of the test we all had to break a board with a side kick. All the kids in the class broke 1/2 inch boards, but I had to break a 3/4 inch one. One of the key things in Taekwando is confidence. (If I didnt have any of that, I wouldn't be taking a class with all kids!) Honestly, when Mr. McPharlin put the board in front of me, I told him he gave me the wrong one, that it was too big. He laughed and walked away. I watched all the kids, including Oakley, break their boards without a problem, so when it came my turn I took that confidence and focus and Ki ap'ed for all I was worth and did it. It is amazing what a little faith in yourself can do!!!
I have loved being able to take this class with Oakley and share this with her. She is an amazing thing to watch. If ever I think I can't do something, I look at her and see what she has accomplished and I don't have any more excusses. It can take up to 3 years to get a black belt and that is our goal. We will keep you posted on our progress!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One Day We Will Look Back On This And Laugh....

But, I am not laughing yet! We got back from our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean over 3 weeks ago and it took a while to start to feel normal again. It was quite the adventure! Said adventure started about 10 minutes after my dad dropped Chad, Bryan and Julie and I off at the airport.
We were to fly to Dallas at noon and then onto Fort Lauderdale. Due to severe weather in Dallas, our flight was delayed at first for 30 minutes. While sitting waiting to board the plane, I went to use my iPod, which was working fine when we left the house, only to find it totally broken. It wouldn't even turn on! "Oh, well" I thought. No biggie. I can go a week without tunes. HA!
Meanwhile, Elder Richard G. Scott was waiting to fly to Dallas as well so we got a photo with him. He was very kind and didn't seem the least bit annoyed with all of us who asked for pictures. I told Chad that nothing else could go wrong in the presence of a General Authority. Boy, was I wrong!
Finally around 1:00 they started to board the plane. 10 minutes later the pilot came over the speaker and announced that our flight had been delayed yet again and that our new departure time would be 2:30, but they were not going to let anyone off the plane because that could change at any time. So, we sat on the plane for 1 1/2 hours and finally took off. Since our flight out was delayed, they kept assuring us that any connecting flights would be pushed back as well. When we finally landed in Dallas the pilot, who I didn't really care for at this point, told us that we needed to wait 15-20 minutes for a gate. So, while sitting there on the tarmack, we watched the flight we were supposed to be on for Fort Lauderdale take off.
By now it was almost 5:00 and so we rushed to the nearest gate to see if we could get on the next flight that was supposed to leave at 8:45. The lady asked me for my last name and then for our boarding passes. While I handed them to her, Chad said, "Chad and Kristin Doyle" She told us we were already confirmed on the next flight, but that Bryan and Julie were not. She printed us new boarding passes and we left to see if we could find something for our friends. This flight kept getting pushed back and around 9:00 they said it wouldnt leave until midnight. Bryan worked his magic and got he and Julie on the flight so we all settled in to wait.
Around 10:45 that night, there was a bomb scare. About 30 feet from where we were sitting, someone had left their bag and they brought in a bomb sniffing dog. Quite entertaining!
I have always thought I had good intuition, and at about 10 minutes to midnight, I got that niggling feeling that I needed to check our boarding passes. I checked our seats and then looked at our names so I could hand Chad's to him and noticed the last name said Doyle, but the first names were James and Evelyn. I was in shock! I started to panic and decided to go to the nearest gate to have them print the correct passes only to be told that the real Evelyn and James were already checked in. UGH!
After waiting for 30 minutes to see if we could get on stand-by, we were booked on a flight to Miami the next morning at 6:00am. Even tho it was the airlines fault that we had sat in the airport for 7 hours holding the wrong boarding passes, they did nothing to help us. They were offering other passengers left and right a $300 travel voucher, a night in a hotel and a flight to Fort Lauderdale the next morning, but did nothing for us. Chad and I ended up staying over night in the airport, boarding the flight to Miami the next morning, sharing a cab with another couple at a total cost of $140 and making it to the hotel that we paid for and never got to see just in time to board a shuttle to take us to the boat. After not sleeping for 36 hours and not eating since 6pm the night before, we were beat and praying that the rest of the trip would go off without a hitch.
Long story short, (too late) the cruise was awesome! The whole trip it was really windy and that made for me getting sick on day 5, but other than that it was really fun. We got to spend time with our great friends, Bryan and Julie Jensen as well as Bryan's parents, Clyde and Connie, his brother Clint and sister-in-law Corrie and Corrie's parents, Marv and Barb.
The MSC is an Italian cruise line so we had a lot of authentic Italian food, which by day 5 I was pretty sick of. I was feeling so nauseous having to smell that food that all I ate from Wednesday night until we got off the boat on Saturday was hard rolls. I lost 3 pounds.... not many people can say that after a cruise! ;)
The ship itself was gorgeous! The places we stopped were the Dominican Republic (my very favorite) where we got to snorkel and hang out on the beach, St. Maarten, where we rented aqua boats and went to snorkel in ship wreck bay, Antigua where we got to zip line through the rain forest and Bahama's where we got to shop and relax. Chad enjoyed taking pictures of all the fire hydrants we could find. (He is easy to entertain!)
It was quite an adventure, but I was really glad to get home! I missed my kids terribly and am so grateful to all the family who helped take such good care of them so we could go! We knew they were in good hands, which helped us be able to relax and have fun!