Sunday, August 28, 2011


All packed up and ready to fly. May I mention that there are definite benefits to hopping on a plane, sitting quietly for 4 hours, getting out, retrieving luggage and going on your merry way. I really didn't miss the 400 miles of Nebraska nothingness you see when you drive the same route.

BYU ID in hand. Officially a freshman, going off to buy books.

First view of the dorm room.

The view from Lauren's window. This was just an added bonus - I wasn't thinking clear enough to plan this when I chose her room for her. You might remember that Lauren was barely out of surgery back in April when her selection date and time arrived, so I was on my own.

What a disaster - how can one young lady have so much stuff????

The well-organized desk-space.

The bed space, with each inch filled to capacity.

Not quite like her room at home, but a good substitute for 4 months.

Laurens last days at home

Lunch at Panera Bread

Megan asks "Lauren, don't you want to play basketball with me one last time?" Lauren has done this perhaps 2 other times with Megan in her entire life! But here they are, making a few last memories.

In cleaning out her room, Lauren came up with a 16 inch stack of paper. What could be more fun than a bonfire to burn it all up.

She said it was very "cleansing"

Mexican train game late at night, a new family favorite!!

Friday, August 19th. Sticky buns for breakfast before the big goodbyes.

We didn't purposely both wear yellow - it just happened that way. Off to the airport we go...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When Mom leaves town.....

(This is Rachel) So Mom left to go to Utah with Lauren and left the rest of us here at home for 9 whole days. We are still alive, but I just thought I would show everyone what we have really been up to......

Mom's not here to tell us to be reasonable in our TV hours and so we have spent lots of time watching TV including Dad's favorite movie- The Princess Bride.

And when I don't feel like making another meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner consist of cookies, cupcakes, candy, cereal and any other unhealthy food you can think of. Dessert for every meal!

Mom's not here to tell us to not be weird or do crazy things, so.......why not drink straight from the milk carton?

And if Megan can do that, then why can't I eat watermelon straight out of the watermelon.

And who is going to stop me from playing with my food?

We have also done massive amounts of redecorating the house which included many trips to Goodwill with old furniture to make room for all the new furniture.... :)

Mom is the one who tells us not to be weird, but Megan and I don't usually listen anyways. So this is what happened while we made Sunday night dinner.....

***Disclaimer: In reality, I am totally kidding. We did watch The Princess Bride but haven't spent too much time watching TV. We have eaten lots of fruits and veggies and real food (not just junk food) and are trying to not eat/make too many cookies. Megan did not actually drink out of the milk jug, but I DID eat the entire half of the watermelon straight out of the rind and I loved it (best way to spend your last day of summer by the way). I always play with my food and make smiley faces, so that is nothing new. Moving out Lauren's bed was the only piece of furniture that has been donated to Goodwill because we are rearranging Lauren's room and nothing else. And Megan and I.....there's no hope for us to not be weird. So whether Mom was home for that or not, it still would have happened.


We miss Mom lots and can't wait for her to get home!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BYU Here I Come!

My last chemo treatment was July 26th. I had a PET/CT scan last Wednesday that came back clear, which means I'm still cancer free!!! My biopsy on Monday showed no signs of rejection which means I don't have to even get labs drawn for two months!!!! So far, I have a healthy school year ahead of me!
There's only two nights left of me sleeping in my bed at home. Literally. Mom is planning on getting rid of the mattress once I leave because it's getting pretty old. I have two packed suitcases in my room, a duffel and one more suitcase awaiting last-minute items, and only two days in which to finish it all. A little crazy, but I'm SO excited!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coming to the end...

Somehow we survived and made it to week 3 of our trip and we had lots of fun!!! By the way, this is Rachel. We went and visited Dad's parents a lot and I think this picture of Dad and Grandma is really cute!
Nathan got to go to JIMMER CAMP!!!!! So basically, Nathan was taught how to Jimmer. We all thought it was really cool and one of the main highlights of the trip for Nathan was getting a high-five from Jimmer Fredette.

Megan would've gone to Jimmer Camp as well, except that she and I were at EFY all week. So one day she decided to miss a couple hours of EFY to go watch Nathan at Jimmer Camp so that she could see Jimmer. Funny story becuase Jimmer didn't show up that day!! But both of us had a fantastic time at EFY!!
This is my counselor group of girls- we had lots and lots of fun!!!
On our last day of our trip, we hiked to the Y on the mountain. Illinois is incredibly flat so the only difficult part of the hike was how the air got thinner. And even though we weren't even up that high, the air was definitely harder for all of us to breathe.
And then we got to drive back home. We left the mountains and hills and returned to the flat lands and humidity of the midwest.
And the final view of the odometer read.....
That's a lot of miles. Between freeway driving and driving around town we averaged less than 60 mph. So if you do the math, that is about 115 hours we spent in the car. Luckily, our wonderful van survived the whole journey and so did we!!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Visiting Victoria BC

This is what it looks like driving around in the Northwest - green, lush evergreens. Rachel says that is why we can breathe easier there - because the trees provide so much more oxygen.
Blair, Lauren and I left the others and drove up to Washington where we hopped on a ferry to go visit Victoria, BC, Canada.
The ferry boat doesn't look that large, but it is fascinating how many cars they can pack in there down at the bottom.
Arriving in Victoria is almost like going back in time. There are horse and carriages, totem poles, double decker busses, street performers, beautiful hanging baskets, and wonderful people.
This was the view from our hotel - the parliament building lit up and cruise ships in the background.
The next morning we were off to Butchart Gardens. They have been blooming for 100 years now. The colors literally took my breath away!
We were the first ones at the rose garden that morning. What are the chances of being there when the delphinium and the roses and the hanging baskets are all in full bloom? These are just a few of the hundreds of pictures we took.
Then we walked over to the sunken garden - also incredible!
The Italian garden was near the end of our visit - by then, all the tourist busses had arrived.
We took this trip because Blair and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary. We invited Lauren to come along. She hasn't been on any school trips - either we were moving or she was too sick. So, we thought this was a good alternative. She had more fun that she thought she would and we enjoyed focusing on just one child for a few days.