Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thank you

I wanted all those family, friends and neighbors that helped raise the money for Wyatt's bench to read this comment I got.

" Andrea, What a miracle. I am so thankful that you will finally be able to order a headstone. Molly and Vic are truly amazing. As soon as I read the part of you only needing $1000 from the Good Grief (instead of $2000), and that the extra money will be able to help somebody else, I just broke down... Molly is sending the check to our monument company THIS WEEK to help with Lincoln's headstone (it has been ready for a very long time, but we just never had the funds for it). I feel SO much gratitude for your wonderful friends and family(!), who helped with Wyatt's headstone, and enabled the Good Grief to help even more families. I definitely think IT IS BECAUSE OF THEIR EFFORT Molly and Vic were able to help us so much sooner. The bench looks beautiful! I'm so glad it finally happened! "

Isn't that awesome? Thank you again everyone. Words truly can not express the feelings in our hearts. We are price checking right now to find the cheapest bench for Wyatt's grave. We are still not sure what we are going to end up doing on the back of the bench but it will come. The front and top are all figured out. It will be so nice to have it done and in place. Thank you again!!! We will be forever grateful to everyone that made this possible for us.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wyatt's angel day 2011

This year we went out of town for Wyatt's angel day. This year like most it ends up being during our kids spring break. Spring break is now a tender thing for us because 3 years ago our spring break turned into one we will never forget and one we wished never would have happened. We had to say goodbye to our sweet boy that week instead of enjoying the fun little vacation we had planned.

The last 2 years we have stayed home for spring break but this year we were blessed to have the chance to go to San Diego. My parents have taken all their grand kids except Em and Hay on a trip. Ty got to go to Williamsburg a couple of years ago for his trip. Well, my parents decided that they would give us the money they would have used on a trip for the girls and we could go on a trip as a family. It was officially called "the girls trip". We found a place during spring break that we wanted to try out in San Diego so we decided this would be their trip. It truly was on of the funnest trips we have been on. Having some extra money helped us in being able to do some things we never would have done. The girls got to plan the things we did and we had a very enjoyable and fun time together. I hope it will be something they will never forget. We reminded them often that what we were doing was because of their grandparents and if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be doing it. Thank you Mom and Dad!

So, when we decided to go to San Diego I knew instantly what I wanted to do for Wyatt's angel day. His angel day was on a Sunday this year so I wanted to release butterflies at the San Diego temple. It was perfect! Such an incredibly beautiful temple. One of my favorites! It was neat to release these butterflies at such a meaningful place for our family. At a temple. Because of the temple we have the hope of being together forever. While driving to the temple we listened to the talk D gave at Wyatt's funeral. Something I think only I had listened to since that day. D did such a great job and it was a great reminder of the times we had with Wyatt. There we some tears shed as we listened. Oh, how we miss our Chubbers.

After releasing the butterflies we talked about the spiritual moments we had on Wyatt's last week along with the last moments D and I had with him. Since we didn't know how long Wyatt would struggle after taking out the breathing tube we decided not to have the kids there. Both D and I wished we could change that decision because of the amazing spiritual experience it was but we didn't know. He didn't struggle at all and I believe it was because of the prayer his older brother gave that morning. We were able to talk to the kids about that moment and let them talk about their feelings from that week. It was good and the spirit was very strong. Hopefully the kids were able to feel the spirit and if anything I hope they know what both D and I believe and how important those things are to us. It was a wonderful time as a family. A very peaceful and spiritual time together.

We then went to the Mormon Battalion and toured that AMAZING newly remodeled visitor center. Awesome place! I'm sure I will do a post just of that. All in all it was a very peaceful and wonderful day spent together as a family reflecting on those things that are most important. But mostly remembering our sweet little boy who we continue to ache for and long for. Wyatt you will never be forgotten. We love you and miss you! Here are some pictures of the butterfly release.

What a beautiful temple...it reminds me of a castle. We let each kid release a butterfly. Em went first. With some help from Hay. Hay was next. The black dot at the top of the picture is a butterfly flying away. Then Ty. What a tender mercy for me that I was able to get pictures of each butterfly the kids released.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A miracle and a HUGE Thank you!

Wyatt's angel day 2011

I've been waiting to post about Wyatt's angel day until we got home...yes, we went away for our spring break this year and it was wonderful but I'm not going to post about that right now. I have something more amazing and wonderful to post about. We had one of the most unbelievable thing happen to us today and I'm struggling at how to express the feelings and gratitude that is in my heart....in our entire families heart. Sometimes thank you just doesn't seem enough. This is one of those times. This is what a couple of friends brought to us today....
WOW! I cried as I read it. You have NO idea how much this means to us. How much we have wanted to get the perfect headstone for our son but haven't been able to afford it and now we are going to get what we want. I'm just speechless and BEYOND grateful. How can I possibly express the DEEP gratitude that is in our hearts at this time?

Here is the story of the miracle that happened. My amazing friend contacted Molly and Vic from A Good Grief some friends of mine that have started a website to help people with grief and also a foundation to help people get headstones for their kids. They started this foundation in memory of their sweet Lucy that died just a couple of months after Wyatt. You can click here to hear their story and what they do for others and click here to go to their website if you would like to make a donation. They had generously pledged $2,000(double the amount they usually pledge) to go towards a bench for Wyatt. Wow! The generosity of so many people is beyond overwhelming!

Well, my sweet friends decided that they would try and earn $500 to help towards the bench for Wyatt. Which is not an easy task at all! One of Em's wonderful friends came up with the idea of doing a bake sale for Wyatt while we were out of town to see if they could come up with the extra money needed. Also, my cousin contacted some of my family (weren't able to figure out how to contact my husbands family) and asked for donations. Well, instead of $500 dollars they were able to raise(which truly is a miracle) $1,500 to go towards the bench for Wyatt. Instead of A Good Grief donating $2,000 now they were able to donate a $1,000 and can now use the extra money to help another family. Amazing!

Lets just say there have been MANY tears of gratitude shed today. As we opened the envelope full of money and checks that people gave us both Derek and I cried. What a humbling experience. One we will NEVER forget. So many people we love and appreciate that have already done so much for us now have done even more for us..how could we possibly accept anything more? Wow, I just can't even describe the feelings in my heart. So, to ALL of you out there that donated, helped in anyway so that we can finally get the bench we have dreamed of THANK YOU! Those words just don't seem enough but I hope you will accept our heart felt thanks.

You have no idea what a huge weight that has now been lifted off our shoulders. I'm not going to go into any detail but since Wyatt's death like so many other people out there we have struggled financially and have had one thing after another happen to us. Just trying to pay off Wyatt's medical bills has been hard. Life and things continued to happen and money for his bench needed to be used for more pressing matters. I finally gave up hope that his bench would actually be something we could afford in the near future and we would just patiently wait. Both Derek and I decided that if we had to wait 10, 20 or more years we would. We both felt like if we were going to get him a headstone we wanted to wait for the one we wanted. The one that would honor our son and in some small measure show the love we have for him. We wanted a bench that we could use as a family when we visited his grave and now we can do that. We will be forever grateful to EVERYONE that has made this miracle possible. We will think of each and everyone of you as we sit on his bench. Words just can't describe fully how grateful we are to all of you. THANK YOU!!

The flier that they sent around our neighborhood while we were out of town for the bake sale. "Buy it for Wyatt"

A book we will cherish the rest of our lives. They had this book at the bake sale for people to write notes to us. They also listed all those that donated to Wyatt's bench. Many of my beehives helped with this amazing day and I will be forever grateful to them!

Our sweet 11 year old wrote this on our Celebration board tonight...oh, thank you to everyone that has made this possible. Definitely something we will celebrate!

Here is the sketches I drew up 2 years ago...now we will be able to make them a reality. I never thought this day would come. Miracles do happen and this is one of the greatest ones we have received. I prayed for a long time that something would happen so we could afford the bench for Wyatt...now my prayers are being answered. Thank you to everyone for making this possible!
Thank you for your generosity and for being an instrument in Heavenly Fathers hands. I never thought in a million years that I would have to draw up what I would want on my sons headstone...not something anyone wants to do but at least now we can have the memorial we have painstakingly thought of.
I'm sure we will make some changes but this is a good start. I hope it will be something that will honor our sweet son and be a testimony to those who visit it that we truly believe in Eternal families and that Wyatt will be ours forever. Because of our Savior Jesus Christ we have the sure knowledge that this can happen.
"Our eyes may be moist with tears, but our hearts burn with the knowledge that the bands of death have been broken and that we will one day be reunited to share the blessings of eternal life." Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wyatt's grave

One of my sweet young women went to Wyatt's grave on his angel day and took this picture of a HUGE balloon, butterfly and note my brother and his family put on his grave. So very thoughtful of both of them. She added one of my favorite quotes to the picture. Thank you Lauryn and for her sweet mom for always remembering Wyatt.:)

Words can't even describe the gratitude in my heart for all the thoughtful comments, e-mails, phone calls and facebook comments that people have sent to our family. I'm amazed at how many people still remember us on this day. It means soooo much to us.... so thank you!!. Also, thanks to the family members that went and visited Wyatt's grave and put flowers, balloons, butterflies on his grave. Words just can't describe the feelings in my heart. We are truly blessed with such amazing family and friends. Thank you to all!! I will post more about his angel day in the near future. It was a very special and peaceful day for our family and one I hope my kids will never forget.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Every morning this week I've woken up to memories of 3 years ago. Such vivid, vivid memories. Heart wrenching memories that I wished never would have happened. Every detail is etched in my mind. The way the sun was, the birds chirping, the hint of spring in the air, the smell in the air...every thing to the last real night I had with him, the 3am bath, to the hospital and all the rooms we were in, the phone calls that were made and received, the ambulance ride, prayers and more prayers, airplane flight, taxi ride, temples, the PICU, nurses, Drs. etc. etc....so many other details I won't even share here...all of it. Memories that are hard to even comprehend. Oh, how I wish that the everyday details would have been etched in my mind more than the awful things I saw that week. But there is another side to those memories and what I learned from this week is, that is what I want to focus on. We experienced some of the most amazing and some of the most spiritual moments of our lives that week and I hope we will never forget them. I'm hoping that this weekend as we think of the last days we had with our little boy that as a family we will remember those spiritual moments that testified to us that Wyatt is where he is suppose to be and that there truly is life after this one and we were blessed to feel a glimpse of what that will be like. That he misses us too and didn't want to leave us. And that we were blessed beyond measure with such great support from family and friends that we will be eternally grateful for.

I'm so proud of our family and where we have come and where we are today. Though we ache and will continue to ache for him the rest of our lives we have learned to live again and enjoy life again. We know that Wyatt is still a big part of our family and we are grateful for that. Though we will continue to have our hard days we can get through them. We have done it for 3 years now and we can continue to do it in the future. We will continue to press forward with a brightness of hope.

So my goal this weekend is to remember those amazing spiritual moments we had and to remember the joy he brought into our life. To be grateful for all the amazing friends and family that have blessed our lives. We will look forward with much anticipation to the day when we will get to see his smiling face again and we will love him, hug him and do all those things our arms and hearts ache to do now.

We miss you Wyatt, we love you! You will never be forgotten and you will always be in our hearts. We will never forget your contagious smile.:)

"Forever ours"

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Chrysalis'...soon to be butterflies

It's that time of year again in our household where we start to prepare for Wyatt's angel day. It's tradition that we release butterflies on that day so we are in the process of watching them go from tiny little caterpillars to large caterpillars then into their chrysalis' and finally into beautiful butterflies. This will be our third year. I hate even saying 3 years because it can't possibly be that long since I held our little boy. Though I've learned to live again there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of or ache for my son. I would do anything in this world if I could change what happened but I can't. I miss him and will all of my life. I do have hope of a glorious and most wonderful day in the future where I will get to hold and love him again and I look forward to that day more than anything.

I love some of the pictures I got from last years release. They stayed around for such a long time so I could take many pictures. That first year it was windy and 4 of the 5 flew away really quick. It was a tender mercy though to have one stay for us to enjoy. Hopefully, we will have at least that this year. If you are new to this blog and wonder why butterflies click here.

I had two "Wyatt moments" a couple of days ago. 2 butterflies flew through our backyard. Hayley and I both got so excited...this means we have made it through another winter and that Wyatt is sending his love and will be able to send more butterflies into our daily lives. I will never forget that first summer without our sweet boy and how I was literally surrounded by butterflies...everywhere I went I had a butterfly by me. They were everywhere. Now, not so much but I don't need them as much now as I did that first summer.

So grateful for the tender mercies in my life. I truly believe that if we seek out those tender mercies in our lives and become aware of them, that they will become a great source of strength and a blessing to us. I do believe it does take effort though, in doing this and noticing them in our daily live. I hope to continue to put forth that effort so I can enjoy them more fully. I love this talk by Elder Bednar if you haven't read it before or if it's been awhile I would highly recommend it. This is a great quote from it... "I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are available to all of us and that the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us." I do believe this. That they are available to all that seek them. So grateful for each and every tender mercy that has come to me. I'm especially grateful for the tender mercy of butterflies!
Angel day 2009
Angel day 2010

One of my "Wyatt moments"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Treasure Hunt Book

I thought I would share one of my favorite activity books. It's called "The Treasure Hunt Book" by Klutz. You can click here to buy your own. Inside this book are 110 Ready-to Hide clues so it makes this activity a really easy and simple one that the kids LOVE. I laminated some of the treasure hunt cards that we used the most so that the cards would last. I'm so glad I did because we have used them so much.
I got this book back when Ty and Em where little and we have used it so many times for Family Home Evenings, birthdays, when friends have been over and mostly just something fun to do on an ordinary day. When I had more than one child doing the hunt we would trade off with each clue so each child would get a turn finding them. I would make that clear before we started so there would be no drama during the hunt. Didn't always work but most times it did.
One summer we tried to do one hunt a week and the kids loved it. We haven't used it for a while until Hay brought it to me the other day. At that time I was busy doing something else so I put it off a couple of days. Today I surprised her with a hunt when she got home from Kindergarten. The only thing I didn't realized was that she would be putting her shoes away where the ending treasure was. She saw it and quickly closed the drawer and said "I forget stuff really fast in fact I've already forgot what was in there" ha ha :) Needless to say she was extremely excited to do the treasure hunt and end up with her surprise. It really only took me a minute to hide the clues. So simple but so fun.
For the "treasures" I usually just get something at the dollar store or just some little treat that is around the house. I use to have a treasure hunt basket that I kept treasures in so when the kids asked for a hunt I had something on hand. I was looking through the book and realized we haven't done some of the more challenging ones. Now that I have some older kids I think we will do them. So, for you out there that have little kids or big kids and want an easy but very fun activity for your kids to enjoy I would highly recommend this book. I'm hoping that my kids will have fond memories of the treasure hunts we did at our house.
There is a pocket in the front of the book and the back of the book to hold the clues once you tear them out.
The picture hunt is probably the one we have used the most because all they have to do is look at the picture and that is the clue. Great for little ones that can't read. On the back of each card it tells you where to hide it which makes it sooooo easy and simple.
A few of the easier hunts. The color one is a great one for teaching kids colors. The scramble one is a challenging one for when they get a little older. There are 11 hunts total but each time you do a hunt it can be totally different from the last one just depending on which location you decide to hide the clues.
Hay after her hunt today.