Friday, August 8, 2014

"Kris kross will make ya...."

think sometimes people think that what they see on blogs, Instagram, and Facebook is what life is really like for people...like today I jumped on the trampoline with my kids with the sprinkler under it for a good hour! Total total blast! (Although tomorrow walking could be a snag rough), then we soaked the day away in the kiddie pool and When dad got home we pelted him with water balloons.  Was it fun? Heck yes! Did I feel like the coolest mom ever? Heck yes! Did I instagram it? You betcha!!! Here are the pictures to prove it...


Now yesterday was....well, different. My kids may have played video games and/or watched netflix all day with a stint or two of lego building mixed in. I may have told Camden I would play hungry hippos with him then forgot until I put them to bed and saw it on the floor. Did I instagram that? Ummm no, nor did I instagram the no make-up freaky hair day I was sporting in my sweats, BUT here's another picture of how cool I was today though....


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Obama....and Dan




He (Dan not Obama) is now officially 55 according to Anthon.  To remember this milestone here are a few things about Dan at this stage:

* He loves soda, Coke Zero lately and can drink right from the Soda Can!! 
* He recently found a love for rebuilding trailers. His hand eye cordination never ceases to amaze me. 
* He is a Dave Ramsey groupie. Could be the fan club president really. When Dave comes on the radio he squeals with delight, it's so cute. I need to catch it on video. 
* He loves donuts, and he is getting so good at eating them with no mess! 
* He hates Gobstoppers. Which is good for my fear of him choking. Maybe we will try it again in a few years. 
* He is learning to dance like Michael Jackson for our upcoming Michael Jackson party in October. Cutest thing ever! 
* He can't stand flies or people who don't wash their hands after using the restroom. He almost immediately bursts into tears with each. 
* he can quote lines from any more he has seen, even if only seen once. His vocabulary is just so impressive!! 

He is getting to be so grown up. We just love this stage he is in and wish we could freeze time! 

Happy Birthday to our very favorite Dan!!!



*disclaimer: although it may sound like I am poking fun at the posts people do about their childrens milestones, rest assured I think it is the most brilliant idea since Fav Red's Starbursts!  :) 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bear Lake 2014

    
    
We had perfect weather for our Bear Lake week this year. It was so relaxing and just fun. I have said many times that I love the ages my boys are right now but this totally solidified my love for it. A little Independence mixed with a WANT to hang out with mom, it's perfect!

This post also testifies how HORRIBLE I am at taking pictures on vacations. What you don't see is that there are far more people at bear lake with us than me, the boys, Kaytlin, and Makena....also present were Grandma Jo,  Michelle, Jesse, Whitney, Scott, Bridgett, dusty, Austin, Kenzie, Chyenne, and even little baby Lukas. See what I mean, I have morphed into a lack-luster picture enthusiast. But the first step is admitting you have a problem. From now on I promise to overboard my life with random monstrous amounts of photos.....or maybe just a few more, we'll see.

















Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I think i can. I think I can. I think I can.

Most of the time I don't feel like an adult. Not in the immature make bad decisions because "like everything is so like totally like awesome like" way, but more in the adults making adult decisions about huge life problems, sort of way. The day we had to make the decision to remove my dads ventilator was the worst adult day ever. I've always known I could do "hard" things, but up until this point "hard" meant running a half marathon, or trying to put both feet behind my head, or not punching in the throat the overly rude and hurtful lady in the walmart checkout line. The only thing that came close was losing my sweet grandma a year ago, but even then I didn't have to be an adult.

While the decisions leading up to my dads passing were hard, and his passing even harder, one thing is certain: After the ventilator was out our dad was able to communicate with us for a few short moments and For the first time in months his mind seemed clear, he seemed like he knew exactly what was happening. He was calm, he was happy, he was loving, he was once again him.  He knew where he was going, he knew who he was going to see, he knew how glorious it was bound to be as he crossed the veil. Soon after we took the ventilator out my dad told us all he loved us and then told us to "take a picture."  Then my dad was given some medicine for anxiety to help him rest peacefully. 4 hours later he passed away. Were we ready? Not in the slightest. Was he ready? Absolutely!

My dad loved me with all his heart, I never doubted that. He loved so fully and so beautifully. He did everything in his power to bring me happiness and joy in my life. He taught me how to be an adult, and when it really mattered, to make the hard adult decisions that seem too hard to make. I am certain my dad is experiencing joy beyond our comprehension right this moment, and I am certain I will see him again and hug him again. Until then I will miss him every single day. I will make him proud every single day. And I will live worthy to be his daughter every single day. Because he taught me that I can do hard things (although I am no longer able to put my legs behind my head, I know you were wondering).



Thank you so much to all of you who have helped carry me and my family through this hard time. I have been amazed and humbled at the outpouring of love, cards, flowers, meals, phone calls, visits, and hugs that we have received. We are truly surrounded by amazing people! Thank you from every bit of my heart!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My dad, a hero.

Someday I will be able to write this post.....someday.......maybe, but right now my heart is too sad and too broken. Until then here is a link to the obituary and a link to the fundraiser site if you are interested in helping donate to cover funeral costs and medical expenses. I love my dad and will miss him every second of every day.

Funeral services will be Friday June 6th at 11:00am at the Millville red brick church house on Main Street. A viewing will be Friday before the funeral from 10:00am til 10:45am and Thursday evening (also at the church) from 6:00pm til 8:00pm. Burial will be at the Preston Idaho cemetery Friday June 6th at 2:30 pm

Saturday, May 10, 2014

41minutes....

My dad had another Cardiac arrest on Thursday morning (may 1st). Apparently he choked on a piece of pancake and went into cardiac arrest. This time it took them 8 minutes to bring him back . So lets put this into perspective....the first cardiac arrest was 23 minutes, the second was 10 minutes and this last one was 8 minutes so if you add them all together that is 41 minutes, which is basically one episode of Psych if you fast forward through the commercials, or a 4 mile run! Talk about crazy!!

I got to see my dad last Sunday. Since his last cardiac arrest on Thursday, his memory is a little more foggy. He has good days and moments and then some not so good days and moments. On Friday he thought he was 12 years old, and kept asking for his dad. On Sunday he thought he was 29 years old but knew who we all were (although at first he thought Whitney was a "little Mexican lady"). He still mumbles strange funny things and when I asked him how many kids I have he said "7." I assured him that If I did have 7 kids I would most certainly be in the looney bin ;). He loves to color. It's kind of strange seeing your grown dad coloring a 101 Dalmatians coloring book haha. 

My dad walked the other day with a walker for a few steps. That's a big deal!! If we can get him physically able to go home we believe that will be a HUGE help for his mental state. Since my dad's house has stairs there are a few more stipulations he has to meet in order to go home.....it will be a while.

The next step is to take the tube out of his lung. Once we get that tube out we can see how he does without it. Scary step but also a needed one. When I talked to him a few days ago he seemed a little short of breath but they think it is anxiety. He really just doesn't want to be there anymore :( it has to be hard not knowing exactly why you are there.

Thanks again for all of your prayers, thoughts, emails, donations, and visits. He loves having visitors and lights up when people walk in the room.

{donate here}





Thursday, April 24, 2014

"A Day without laughter is a day wasted"

It has been 28 days since my dad's LAST cardiac arrest and stroke. 28 days since my dad knew exactly who I was every time I saw him or talked to him (although he is getting MUCH better at remembering me now, its probably due to my unforgettable charm ;) How has it only been 28 days? It truly feels like at least 9 months. I cannot even imagine how the time has gone for Ann. It's crazy how one part of your life can seem to stand still in time and the rest of it speeds by. It's like I'm living a double life exept not the cool kind when one of your identities is a massively buff undercover secret spy named "Jane."......(insert me daydreaming I am Angelina Jolie in Mr & Mrs Smith) ........The good news is that I'm NOT Angelia Jolie -I mean who really wants massive amounts of money and insanely gorgeous looks anyways-  No really, the good news is that my dad is getting Stronger each day. His sentences are getting better, he seems to remember a smidge better at times, and his body is getting stronger. So bring on the next 28 days (preferably uneventful in the trauma front)! He's got this!

So my dad thinks Jimmy Carter is the president, but he also says he was born in 2004. So his memory is still a tad shaky to say the least but One thing that hasn't changed is his desire to make people laugh. He "Hog tied" Bridgett here


 My dad making people laugh and smile is a big part of who my dad is, of who my dad has always been. My kids still talk about the story that Grandpa Corky told them about pretending chocolate covered raisins were rabbit turds and freaking everyone out when he popped them in his mouth. Typical dad there.


Along with being very witty, my dad is just a tad bit stubborn also. He has went through at least 6 oxygen cannulas and 8 oximiters from ripping them apart. This picture is after one of his successful demolishing sessions. He is so proud of his achievements ;)


As for now, we just need to be able to get the chest tube out. Things were looking good for maybe taking it out this week but that dream has since been sat on, since the tube is still draining too much fluid out. The next step (whenever that happens) will be to move him to an Acute Rehab facility, which is a step down from and Ltach that he is at now and a step up from a nursing home (I think). Know of any good Acute Rehab facilities, let us know, if we choose your suggestion we will make you cookies or if your super lucky a pie. :)


Thanks again to all who have donated. Its fun to watch the donations keep rolling in. You all are the BEST PEOPLE EVER!!

Donate here if you would like

Ok 1 more thing, I just had a thought: I am sure my dad gets super bored sitting in the hospital room all day (although the other day he told me he was at his sister Gloria's house, then I was the one all sorts of confused. He wasn't, he was still in his room) Anywhoo, how cool would that be to be able to take my dad a bunch of letters from his friends and family when I go down on Tuesday?!?! So If you want to write a letter or little note, no matter how short or how long, to my dad and email it to me at amyernstrom@hotmail.com I will print them off and make sure he gets them. You guys are the bestest. Oh this will be so fun. Oh and I guess If you want to write a super mushy one and don't want me to read it just tell me "don't read this please" at the top and I will be honest and just print, fold, and deliver :)  Ready, set, go!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Live Simple (not like hippy hairy armpits simple, like content simple)

Gratitude does not even begin to express how overwhelmed I have been at the outpouring of love with the fundraiser for my dad. The world is full of such amazing generous people! Thank you from every part of my heart for sharing the links, passing on information, and donating. It's so true that every little bit counts. Not one ounce of it goes unnoticed. I love you ALL (Well unless you are a creepy ax-murderer, then tecnically I may not have AS much love for you as I do the others). Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! Donate here

I often find myself wondering what my dad is thinking. What does his mind ponder on in the quiet moments? Does Heavenly Father give him moments of pure clarity so that he remembers what he is fighting for?

I talked to dad on the phone yesterday. He seemed good, still mellow and simple as ever. He even laughed at my funny story, it was great! I love seeing the little glimpses of emotion. I told him I was coming to visit and he wanted to know the specific day I would be there. Love him. :) My dad is a pretty mellow and simple chap. No really, when my now husband asked my dad if he could ask me to marry him, his reply was simply "that'll be fine." Even When we have conversations now his simplicity still hasn't changed. That's probably how he came to love the outdoors so much, because of the simple but beauty of everything.  

Speaking of my dad and outdoors....

This is my dad in the "Outdoors"
 
This is my brothers daughter in the "Outdoors"
 
 
And this is my kid in the "Outdoors"
 
yep he is crying because there is dirt, and bugs, and dirt. Apparently the love of outdoors skips generations every now and then ;) Reason #56254 that my dad needs to recover and quickly: I apparently am doing NO good at teaching my kids the joys of camping

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Be Still, I've got this"

My dad rode an exercise bike yesterday! This is a big deal!! Apparently he didn't even want to get off. A couple weeks ago when he tried to take a few steps with the nurse he couldn't even move his one foot to step. So this is a HUGE accomplishment! -don't worry the therapist was right there so he couldn't fall off, I asked ;)


My dad is a Navy Veteran, beat hodgkins disease, hunts bears, and lions, camps and hikes all over the mountains, and once had a semi truck tire-jack fly off and hit him in the head (yes it was as bad as that sounds), to say he CAN endure is an understatement. What amazes me is how much grace and humility he exudes AS he endures. I'd like to think that maybe a smidge of his patience leaked over to me, but truth be told I think he kept it all for himself ;) I tell people all the time that my dad has never yelled at me. It's true. My kids can say totally the same thing about me.....(ok that last part about MY kids is a flat out lie ;)

As the spectator that i am in this whole ordeal I have realized that it is much harder to see my dad mentally struggle then physically struggle. My sister sent me this picture of his "signature" the other day with the caption "the heart is for anyone who wants to love him" :)


through all the struggles he is enduring right now, one thing stays the same, my Dad's presence.  Walking into his room, even during the moments when his mind is not "there", there has always been a certain calmness that comes over me, almost like he is telling me "be still,  I've got this."  I am so proud of my Dad.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smile....no really, Smile.

I have always been a firm believer in the power of smiling. I think that God created the "smile" as a reminder that no matter what is happening there is still something to be happy about. We are meant to smile. Smiling was one of the first things my dad remembered how to do. It was the first thing that we could ask my dad to do and he would respond to, with a BIG HUGE SMILE.


Last night my phone rang, when I answered I heard the sweetest sound I have heard in a month and a half, it was my dad on the phone, he said "Hello Amy." Tears welled up in my eyes in unexpected joy. Its the little things we take for granted, like a simple phone call from your Pa. The next few minutes following he was trying to tell me something, but he still mumbles a lot and sometimes you have NO idea what he is saying. He is still kind of confused, he called his wife his ex-wife's name (gulp ;) Thank goodness our family (including his fabulous wife) have good senses of humor. When I was up there a couple weeks ago, he actually Meow'd......like a cat......he hates cats.
video


Last night I had a dream that I was sitting around a campfire talking to my dad and he was 100% perfect. I woke up crying. I miss my dad. But I am grateful for faith, hope, and medical advancements. I am thankful that my dad has a wonderful wife who can put her whole life on hold to sit by his side every single day. I am thankful for priesthood blessings and the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation. I am thankful that I KNOW that our Father In Heaven is mindful of my dad and watching out for him, and has a plan for him. I am thankful for tender mercies like random phone calls from my dad even if all I can understand is "Hello Amy." I am thankful for how close this experience has brought my family, and I am extremely thankful for my most fabulous dad!
 
{To donate to help my dad click here }