Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Own Christmas Miracle

  Last week I had some additional swelling in my left leg, so I had another ultrasound to see what the cause was.  Realize that although it was a little tender, the pain and swelling were nothing like last time.  So I was very surprised to hear the radioligist tell me that blood clots had returned in both of my legs.  My left leg was worse than my right, hence the small amount of pain and swelling.  Of course I was frustrated as I thought I was done with all of this stuff, and it was very close to Christmas.  But, Heavenly Father gave me the faith and strength to know that I could go through another hospital stay and time away from my family if that's what needed to be done.  The doctor told me to go home and get things in order so I could return the next morning prepared to be in the hospital for a few days at least, possibly up to a week.
  Now, last time this happened, I felt really unprepared.  I mean, I went from being in pain and going to the doctor to being admitted in ICU within a few hours.  My husband and I spent lots of time in the waiting room at the hospital making tear-filled phone calls.  This time was different.  The Spirit kept reassuring me that everything would be okay.  I just had to trust in the Lord.  It was also quite nice that I got to go home and prepare my children for what would be taking place over the coming days.  They trusted that things were going to be all right and that I could call them from the hospital, and I would be coming home soon.  I was able to pack a bag to prepare for a long hospital stay, and I was even able to do my hair and makeup before going in the next morning.  (Jason was teasing me for even worrying about that, but honestly, I wasn't sure when I'd be able to again.:)
  I went through the same blood work and testing that was set up before the procedure, and was taken to the operating room.  I was expecting to see my husband in my room in ICU soon, but Heavenly Father had something else in mind.  I was just getting sleepy from the anasthetic when my doctor tapped my on the shoulder.  He had a puzzled expression and said, "Um, we can't do the procedure.  We don't need to."  I was sure the medicine had me hearing things, but he continued to explain.  Apparently, the clots in my legs were "old", meaning they had been there for over a month.  (That means they would have had to develop just after the others disappeared.)  The veins they were in had completely closed themselves off from the rest of my body, and new veins had been created to allow blood flow.  My body registered the fact that there was a block to the circulation in my legs, and it had been taken care of.  There was no chance of the clot breaking off and becoming a life threatening thing because the veins they were contained in are shut off from everything else.  The doctor explained that, eventually, the veins will die off and the blood thinners I'm taking will dissolve the clots.  His next words shocked me even more.  When I asked what that meant for my hospital stay he said, "You can go home."
  What an amazing boost of faith this has been for me.  Heavenly Father was trying me to see if I was willing to accept what he had in store for me, if I would match my will to His.  And when I was able to, He eliminated the problem all together. I was witness to my own miracle for the second time in just a month or so.  John 3:16 says,"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  This Christmas season, this scripture takes on new meaning for me.  I am so very blessed to be able to be with my family for Christmas, and I will forever be grateful to my Father in Heaven for this great gift, that I may be able to truly celebrate the greatest gift of all, the life of our Savior.   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Promise Kept

   A while ago I posted a picture of Savannah's extra-poofy hair.  (See January 2010.)  I made a promise then that I would post a picture of what it looked like before I took it out, if I ever did that to her hair again.  Well, here are the pictures:
  Savannah absoutely loves this flower hairdo, but her mom does not.  (It takes FOREVER to put in.)  Hopefully I'll get the determination up to do it again sometime soon...:)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Sweet Savannah

  I found another picture on my memory card that I can't believe never made it to the blog.  We recently spent some time up in Idaho at a family cabin, which we do frequently.  The kids are constantly running and playing, and can quite easily get worn out.  So, a few trips ago, when everyone decided to calm down for a minute and watch a movie, I was all for it.  I guess Savannah was a little more tired than the others, because here's what happened:

She apparently found a comfy spot in between the couch and side table and promptly fell asleep.  (I love how her position looks like she's having a great time watching the movie, except for the fact that her eyes are closed.:)

  What a cutie!  She stayed like that for quite a while, too.  She only woke up when her arms finally gave out and her head bobbed up and down.  And at first she didn't even realize she'd been asleep.  I guess she was more worn out than she thought...:)

Just a Quick Update

  Hello there!  I just wanted to post a quick update about how everything is going.  I'm recovering quite well, thanks in huge part to all of the prayers offered on my behalf.  (Thank you all so much.)  The pain in my legs is mostly gone, although I still have to be careful not to overdo it.  (That can get kind-of complicated with three kids.:)  I'm working closely with my doctor to regulate the blood thinner I'm on, and it all seems to be going well.  It's a little screwy trying to get it all figured out, but I'm very grateful to have a doctor that redily helps me understand what's going on. 
  The funniest part about the whole thing is that I've had to stop wearing heels, at least for a little while.  I've always loved them and thought my foot wear would  never change.  Boy, was I wrong on that one.  (For those of you who don't know, I have an enormous collection of them just sitting in my closet until my legs can support themselves again.  As my husband says, I'm such a girl for even worrying about something like that.  Thanks, honey.:)
  Thanks once again to all of you for your thoughts and prayers and here's to continuing getting better.  I love you all! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Few Random Pictures...

   So, I was going through the memory card on my camera and discovered some pictures I thought I'd share.  (Since they're not of my family, they never really made it on the blog.:)  I don't claim to be a photographer, but sometimes things catch your eye.  Anyway, here you go:

This is a picture of the bed in a room at Little America.  Jason took me for my birthday this past year and had the hotel do a bed-and-breakfast package.  So pretty, huh?

This is one of the Payson Lakes where my family went fishing this summer.  Just seeing this picture makes me wish I was there again...:)

This gorgeous sunset was taken on one of our trips up to Idaho.  Can you believe I took this while driving down I-15 in my van?  (Jason was doing the actual driving, so I was being safe.:)

This is the fountain outside Abravenel Hall in downton Salt Lake City.  I love how the lights look underneath the water.

These are two ferocious dinosaurs displayed at the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.  I know one is a T-Rex, but I can't remember what the other was.

These are some of the lights in the recording studio from when I got to sing with Alex Boye.  (That was such an amazing day!:)

Here's the view from the top of the big ferris wheel at Lagoon.  I love how many trees there are.

  Thanks for letting me share and happy holidays!

Friday, November 19, 2010

To Answer a Few Questions

  Hello again to the world of blogging! I know it's been a few months since I've posted, but there has been so much going on recently that I haven't even had the chance. But after being bombarded with questions from any number of places, I thought it was time I let everybody know what was going on.
  So, a few weeks ago, I injured my back. I found out that I have a bulging disc, but it should correct itself and there's not much to it. No big deal, right? Well, a couple of days later my back was doing pretty well, but I couldn't shake this awful tightness in my thigh muscles. I wondered if maybe the disc was pinching a nerve or something, but who knows. After a few days, though, the tightness and pain had spread throughout both of my legs to the point that I could barely walk. Jason and I headed to my doctor again, and he immediately sent us to the hospital for some tests. His exact words were: "These are blood clots until proven otherwise." That's not exactly what I was expecting to hear... We had a bunch of blood work done at the hospital and some ultrasounds, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. Well, you know how the ultrasound technician isn't allowed to tell you anything directly? She told me to get dressed and she'd be right back. She was back in less than 5 minutes with the doctor. I thought, "Oh, this can't be good." It turns out that I had 2 massive clots, one in each leg, that extended from my knee caps up to about my navel. (Crazy, I know.) The doctor then proceeds to explain to me how I'm heading up to ICU and some procedures I'm going to have done. At this point all I could do was look at Jason and try very hard to not burst into tears. I had an out-of-body experience of sorts where I understood what the doctor was saying, but it was really hard to digest the fact that he was talking about ME.
  Well, I ended up spending almost 4 days in ICU, and underwent many different "clot-busting" procedures. I lost track of how many different things they were doing. (You kind-of get to a point were you just let the doctors do what they have to.) I don't remember much about the experience itself, other than the absolutely fantastic family and friends I have. My mom and mother-in-law basically raised my kids (thank you, thank you, thank you!) so that Jason could stay with me at the hospital. My family had countless meals from sisters in the ward, while others helped with carpool and just playing with them. I had so many visitors that totally brightened my days, as well as countless phone calls from all sorts of places. I never had to doubt that I was loved, and constantly felt the love and support from numerous prayers and fasts on my behalf. The doctors were concerened because some of the clots were older and not responding to the treatments, but after just a few days we were blessed with a miracle when a scan revealed that the clots were gone. Not just broken up, but GONE. I can't even explain to you what that feels like. It's so amazing to know that you were so close to being in serious trouble, but the Lord saw fit to let you stay here with your family. I'll never forget the look of amazement on the faces of my nurses and doctors when the change was so drastic. It truly was a miracle.
  After spending a few more days in recovery, I was blessed to be able to come home. I remember walking up the stairs to my room and feeling like it had somehow been a surreal dream, but I only had to try and move more than a few inches to be reminded of what had happened. I've spent the last couple of weeks at home recovering and resting, and crying an awful lot. I don't think I've ever had such an understanding of gratitude before. I'm constantly just hugging my kids and letting the tears flow. (Luckily they're pretty used to seeing me cry by now.:) I am just so grateful that I've been given this chance to stay with my family here and raise my children with my husband. This Thanksgiving is definately going to be a very poignant one for me.
  So, what happened? My doctor thinks it was actually a few different things. First of all, I have a genetic abnormality that I didn't know about before that causes me to be 5 times more likely to develop clots in the first place. Secondly, a few months back I was diagnosed with pelvic congestions syndrome, which basically means I have vericose veins next to my uterus, and that can interfere with blood flow. And lastly, because of the pelvic congestion, I was taking birth control pills for the hormones to try and conteract some of the swelling in my veins. The problem is that blood clots are one of the main side effects of some forms of birth control. All together, my body had a losing battle on its hands. (One of my nurses called it the "blood clot trifecta.":) I'm now on a blood thinner and some pain medication, and being closely monitored by my doctor to make sure everything stays okay. I'll be kind-of out of it for a few weeks, but I'm getting a little better every day, and I'm so grateful for every little bit more that I can do.
  I hope that answers a lot of questions and gives everybody a brief rundown of what's been going on. I wanted to post this as well to send out an enormous thank you. Thanks to the doctors and nurses who fought so valiantly to save my life. Thanks to my wondeful parents who were contanly visiting, taking care of my kids, orgainizing prayers and fasting, and just being there on my behalf. Thanks to my great in-laws who did so much for my family during these last few weeks. Thanks to my siblings who never stopped lending help and support. Thanks to my absolutely fabulous husband who was constantly by my side while still making sure everything was all right at home and never stopping letting me know how much I'm loved. Thanks to so many wonderful friends and neighbors who have given so much in service to see to it that my family was cared for when I couldn't be there. And a very special thank you to my sweet sister who is still watching over me, even after this life. (For those of you who don't know, my sister passed away a few years ago from a blood clot in her lungs, and that was the main reason that my doctor even thought to look for a genetic abnormality.) I love you, Jen. Thanks for knowing that I still need a big sister to look out for me. And thank you most of all, Father in Heaven, for being by my side and lifting me up, and blessing me with the opportunity of seing just how precious life really is. I will never forget this lesson, ever.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Best Day EVER!

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be a part of the recording session for Alex Boye's upcoming Christmas album. Talk about an amazing experience! I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into the studio, but it was amazing. Alex is such a great guy, as well as being super talented, and our director was Emmy award winner Sam Cardon. After interacting with him, I can see why. He's very good at what he does. The whole thing was kind-of surreal. I mean, how often do you get a chance to be part of something like that? I feel very privileged, and came away with some great memories.

Our fabulous director

Alex explaining part of the music to the group

What an amazing experience! I'm so excited for the album to come out. It's set to be released by conference, and I can hardly wait! We listened to some raw tracks yesterday, and it's got a very Nat King Cole kind of vibe. It sounds very cool. So, now you all have a Christmas album to buy, right?:)

Fun at Lagoon

A few weeks ago we took our little family to Lagoon for the day. What a blast! I was worried that everyone was just going to be hot and tired, but they did great. The funniest thing was how much they loved the bigger rides. I mean, they had fun on the little kid ones and everything, but the favorites were those that I thought they might be scared of. For example, Savannah LOVED the haunted houses. She kept asking if we could go back again. Isaiah really liked the bumper cars and Rattlesnake Rapids. And little Mary's favorite is called Dinosaur Drop. (It's like The Rocket except smaller.) She didn't mind that she was being dropped two stories, in fact she giggled like crazy! I never expected that, but I will never underestimate my kids again. And hey, I can go on the bigger rides.:) I didn't get too many pictures, but what fun!

Look at those huge grins! Do you think they're excited at all?:)

Mary might only barely be big enough for this ride, but that smile never left her face!

I wasn't able to go to Lagoon a whole lot as a kid, but I'm sure glad Jason and I decided to make this a family tradition every year. I can hardly wait for next summer! (I wonder what rides they'll be big enough to go on then...:)

A Running We Will Go

Many of you know that my husband is an avid runner. This summer he took part in the Ragnar Relay, which goes from Logan to Park City. That's over 180 miles! Thankfully, he had an awesome team to run with, comprised in part of most of his family. Both of Jason's sisters, one brother, and his dad competed as well, not to mention a good friend of his. I thought they were all crazy, since this relay means taking turns running for almost 2 straight days and sleeping in the car, but they had a blast and did quite well. I'm so proud! (Even if I do still think they're nuts.:)

The family crossing the finish line. I've never seen so many tired people in my life!

Jason's sisters showing of their race medals to their kids

Jason looking proud. (I think he was too tired to smile.:) Way to go, honey!

Jason has instilled his love of running in our children as well. They've run in quite a few children's races, including this one up in Cedar Hills. Isaiah and Savannah both ran a mile with their dad in about 15 minutes! Not bad for a 5 and 6 year old, huh?:)

On your mark, get set, go!

They did so well, and Mary was a fantasic cheerleader with me on the sidelines. Great job kids!:)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Baseball

We were lucky enough this summer to be able to attend 2 Bees baseball games in Salt Lake City, and had a blast! (I was really proud of my kids, since singing at a parade for everbody was what won us the tickets for the first game.:) I grew up around baseball, and there's just something about being out in the summer air with your family and watching a game--I love it! Isn't that just a pretty picture? Too bad the games weren't as pretty. (We lost both times.)

I think my girls' favorite part was getting to wear their baseball hats, since they don't very often. (Notice how both hats are my girls' favorite colors.:)

Isaiah kept insisting that his cup had to be in the picture, although I'm not entirely sure why.

Here's the second game with cute Aunt Toni. (My kids just adore her!)

The second game was capped off by an unbelievable fireworks show. It started off with a huge amount of fireworks, and I thought, this is going to be a short show if they're starting off with this many. But it went on for at least 20 minutes! How cool is that? The best part was that the advertising company Aunt Toni works for was the sponsor, so we cheered extra loud.:) Yay Saxton Horne!

Isaiah is 5!!!

I can't belive my sweet little guy is 5! He's getting so big, I can barely believe it. We had such a great time for his birthday, too. Since it was on a Friday this year, we had a small family party that day, a friend party on Saturday, and an extended family bash on Sunday. Needless to say, Isaiah was thrilled to have three whole days of parties especially for him. (There were even fireworks Saturday night, thanks to Draper Days. Yay!:) Here are some photos of the festivities:I think Isaiah was a little excited about this bike, don't you? That grin is nearly cracking his face! Here he is blowing out the candle on his birthday cupcake. His friend party had an ocean theme because we spent most of the time outside with sprinklers, a blow-up pool, water balloons, and squirt guns. I don't think I've ever heard that much laughing in my life! Jason had the idea to put one of the sprinklers underneath the trampoline and let the kids go at it. They had SO much fun with it, and we didn't even end up with any slipping and crying kids. (I must say, I was pretty amazed by that one.) Isaiah insisted on having a football birthday cake this year, which was just fine with me. (Footballs are one of the easiest cakes to make--just round off the corners and reattach them to the ends. Simple.:) It happened to be Jason's sister Shari's birthday that weekend as well, so I made those cupcake bouquets for her. The funny things was that nobody wanted to eat them because they looked to pretty. Not that I minded having leftover cupcakes--my kids were happy for a whole additional week!

Happy birthday, little buddy! We love you!:)

T-ball and Tap Dancing

Summer is filled with many activities for the Greenwoods, including dance recitals and t-ball games.

Savannah's dance class did an adorable tap-dancing rendition of Rockin' Robin. She looked great in all her feathers, and did a wonderful job. She did a cute little hip wiggle whenever there was a whistle in the song, and was totally on beat with the music. I'm so proud!:)

This is a nice action shot of Isaiah, don't you think? He absolutely LOVED playing, and was always the first one to go running after the ball when it was hit. (That worked really well until he was suppossed to be guarding a base.:) He did a great job and can hardly wait until next year to play again. Good thing we have a tee in the backyard and he won't have to wait that long.:)

School's Out!

I can't believe how big my kids are getting. Savannah is finished with kindergarten, and Isaiah graduated from preschool! When did they get that old?
This picture was taken just after Savannah's program on one of her last days of school. Don't you just love the hat? (It was part of a number called First Grade that went to the tune of New York, New York. SO cute!) I can't believe my little girl is going to school for the entire day. (I had a mom moment the other day--crying over the fact that my kids won't all be home together for lunch anymore.:)

Here's Isaiah looking adorable at his preschool graduation. See the squinting? These poor kids were facing right into the sun! At least I could see to take pictures, though. (I think that was the idea.) Isn't this just the cutest kid ever?

I have to mention as well that my kids both had FANTASTIC teachers. Miss Lindberg was so sweet, and she really understood Savannah's tendency to be sensitive to others. She told me constantly how thoughtful my daughter is. And Teacher Nisha is the only person I've ever met who can not only keep up with Isaiah, she was one step ahead of him. (That takes A LOT of energy, believe me.) We love you both and will miss you!

Do you see what I see?

So, I was driving with my kids the other day, and we saw this out the window:

I know it's kind-of hard to tell, but this is a RAINBOW cloud! I've seen something like this before, but this time my camera happened to be in my purse. It was really a sight to see. (We pulled over and just looked at it for a while.) I'm not sure if moisture causes this color scheme or what, but how cool is that?:)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where, oh where has my transfer cord gone?

So, after about 3 weeks of not being able to find my camera's transfer cord and not being able to post ANY pictures of our summer, a few days ago my husband informed me that we have an extra cord with our video camera. I could do nothing but laugh. That's what I get for trying to locate things on my own instead of just asking where he stashed something. Oh, well. (I still can't find the original cord, by the way.) At least I can update with photos now. Stay tuned!:)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

An Amazing Concert

Just a quick shout-out to those of you who live near the Salt Lake Valley:
On Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10, I get to sing in some AMAZING concerts at Abravanell Hall in Downtown SLC. The choir I'm a part of, the Choral Arts Society of Utah, will be performing in the kick-off concert for the Days of '47 festivities. We'll be participating with the 23rd Army Band, as well as featuring guest soloist Alex Boye and some dancers from the valley. I am SO excited for this, and I know the concerts will be amazing. For more information, please go to (By the way, the concerts are FREE.:)

I thought summer was supposed to be relaxing...

You know, back in April or so I was really looking forward to this summer. Do you know why? Because I thought I was going to be able to relax. I mean, ballet would be over, school would be out, and everything was supposed to calm down...or so I thought. I realized the other day that I haven't even updated this blog in over a month! How crazy is that? But, when I was idealizing my summer, I forgot to include the following: t-ball, swimming lessons, family vacations, business trips, rehersals, concerts, and church activities, just to name a few. I also wasn't planning on injuring my back and hardly being able to even move for a couple of weeks. (It's getting better slowly now, by the way.:) At any rate, I can't believe the summer is already half over, and there are so many things I haven't even started yet! Oh, well. I hope to be back to update you all on the crazy happenings of my life soon. In the meantime, please enjoy my very patriotic blog.:) (I do so love this time of year.:)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You've got to try this!

I had to make another cake for Mary's birthday for an extended family party, but I didn't just want to make the same cake over again. Mary said she wanted more flowers, and I wasn't entirely sure what to do. Then my awesome mom directed me to a video on the Studio 5 website, and I had my answer. (That's a local morning talk show.)
Pretty, huh? It's a mix of fake flowers and CUPCAKES! You use all the stuff you would to make a fake flower arrangement, like styrafoam, a pot, flowers, etc., but then you add cupcakes that have been decorated to look like flowers. The trick is to freeze the cupcakes before you add them so they will stick on to the toothpicks you use. Needless to say, Mary LOVED this, and she wasn't the only one! If you want to see the whole demonstration video, just got to and search under "cupcake bouquets." It's so easy, and the different ideas are endless! I'm so excited to do it again for something else. Anybody need a party cake?:)

Mary's 3!

I can't believe my little baby girl is 3! Where does the time go? It was so much fun to watch how excited she got about everything. She is truly like a little ray of sunshine in my life.

Savannah made this adorable card for her little sister. It was so sweet.:) It makes me smile when I can tell how much my kids love each other. Isaiah and Savannah had been hugging Mary all day, and here she is returning the favor.

Mary told me that she wanted flowers on her cake, so I made an Easter bonnet. She totally loved it, especially the pink. Happy Birthday, Mary!

Easter Fun

Okay, so I know I'm a little late here, but we had such a great Easter that I had to post about it. First, there was a ward egg hunt at our local park. My kids did a great job finding their eggs, and quickly reached their limit of 5. They were troopers too, because it was especially cold and windy that day. Luckilly, there was a delicious warm brunch to eat afterwards.:)For Easter weekend itself, we headed up to my in-laws cabin in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. My kids were super excited to hang out with their cousins, and they weren't even worried about if the Easter bunny knew where to find them or not. (The Easter bunny's had to come to quite a few different places over the years...:) Easter morning was full of smiles, as always, but do you know what? My kids were most excited about the new scriptures they had gotten! (They sure know how to melt my heart and make me proud.:)

I know these pictures are a little fuzzy, but it's kind-of complicated to get really excited kids to hold still long enough for a picture.:) (Don't you just love the matching pj's? Thanks, Grandma!)

So Cute

I just had to share this picture of my kids and their friends at the park. Isn't it adorable?:)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Zumba Power

I know this has absolutely nothing to do with my family, but I just had to give a little shout-out for Zumba. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, Zumba is basically aerobics with a Latin flavor and AMAZING music. You know, the kind that you just have to move to when you hear it. My friend Ann got me started a few months ago, and I LOVE it! It's amazing how much easier exercise is when it's fun! And the results are awesome! I tend to have a hard time losing weight because of a few health problems I've been dealing with, but I've lost 13 pounds since January, and I'm down 2 pant sizes, and I feel great. Now how cool is that?:) Besides all that, Zumba is totally addicting. It's really fun to just move to the music. Here's a link to one of my favorite songs and routines (the first part of the video): I get a real kick out of watching some of the guys in the background. Zumba's the greatest!:)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Boat FLOATS! It Really Floats!!!

Many of you know that my wonderful husband had been building a "sea kayak" out of pvc pipe and membrane in the garage over the winter. A few weeks ago, we took it out to a neighborhood pond, just to see if it would even work at all. We did get quite a few strange looks from those around us, and you could tell they were all watching to see if it would fail catastrophically. BUT IT WORKED. Not only that, it worked quite well. And if you don't believe me, here's the photographic proof:
Yes, that's Jason out in the middle of the pond in something he imagined and then built all by himself. And he didn't even get that wet in the process. I'm so proud.:) Way to go, honey!