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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Canada/Seattle


(Cathleen, Melinda, Kay, Stephanie, Me, Aubrey & Are')
(Melinda & Amber)
(Me Pickin' the Boar's nose - yes my eyes are closed, again!)

I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Seattle and Canada in September. It was fun to visit places I have never been to before, and also to get away. I did have baby Vaughn with me. We had a good time. It was a fairly large group of women. Things went fairly smooth, no lost luggage or things like that. We flew to Seattle and then drove to Annacortes and took a ferry to Victoria, Canada. It was my first time in Canada.

(Aubrey, Callum, Stephanie, Are', Kay, Melinda, Cathleen & Amber)
We had a bit of a shock when we got to Canada and found that Priceline had booked us into a hotel connected to a strip club. Yep, a strip club. Luckily the only time strippers were actually spotted, they were fully clothed. Note to self, don't stay at the hotel in the future! There were a lot of cute shops and sights in Canada.
We were able to go to Butchart Gardens. Wow, that place is phenomenal. I don't have a wide knowledge of flowers.
(Melinda, Aubrey, Are', Kay, Me (Vaughn screaming)Cathleen & Stephanie)
My favorite things was the smell. So fragrant. The colors and variety, oh my gosh! I saw more flowers that day than I have probably seen in my entire life! It has an amazing story. There were a lot of tourists from other countries. It was funny to see people's reactions to babies. I had Vaughn and m y friend Aubrey had her little boy who is 2 weeks younger than Vaughn. You would think people had never seen an infant before. Such a novelty.
We also saw the Parliament building. Gorgeous! And went to Craigdarroch Castle. It is huge, and beautiful The wood work must have taken years and years! If you would like more information, go here. We enjoyed some interesting experiences being in another country. My favorite is when we went to Wal Mart. It was in a department store like setting. You parked in a parking garage and then went up an escalator to the second and third levels where the store was. Upon leaving Wal mart with your cart full of groceries, there was a devise in between the up and down escalator where you hooked the cart and sent it down to the garage level. I have pictures coming of that.
(Melinda Posing and Aubrey)
(Room in the Castle)
Seattle is a great city. Here we stayed in one of the oldest hotels, The Camlin. I fell in love with it immediately. The hotel is on the national registry of historic hotels. Next to each door was a framed box with the original Door knob and number. Since they have upgraded to key cards, the old door knobs were a little obs-elite, but so decorative and fancy. The electric blue sign is still lit every night. Such fun!
(Camlin Hotel)
In Seattle we went to Pike Place Market. Such a bustling place. Smells strongly of fish. There were HUGE bouquets of flowers that you could purchase for $5-$10. So beautiful! We ate yummy food at Ivars. I had clam chowder. We walked around everywhere in Seattle or took public transportation. I believe it was my first time on an actual city bus. There was a station convenient across the street from our hotel that went straight to the airport!
(Melinda, Are', Cathleen)
We took a Harbor Ferry tour where we learned a lot about the City, and saw many landmarks, including the space needle and Washington Mutual Tower and Smith Tower. It was a great way to see the skyline. We also learned about Seattle's underground. We took a tour of it and learned the history of Seattle. Basically through a series of events the town burnt and had to be rebuilt. The rebuilding made what was the second story of buildings the First story. Quite amazing. It was my favorite part of Seattle. I learned a ton and the guides were very amusing and even told a few tasteful jokes. One of which was just for our group (we were probably the only ones who got is) where the punch line was the so and so became the first Latter Day Saint in Seattle (They had done some thing saintly). We all laughed. My arms got buff on that tour because I carried Vaughn for 2 hours straight. I could feel it in my biceps.
(Stephanie, Kay, Me, Amber, Melinda, Cathleen & Are')
We came across the infamous wall of gum. It was vile and almost made me vomit. Multiple times. Ewwwww! Don't worry, there are lost more pictures on their way for your enjoyment. Some how Lucinda evaded them all so far! I also had a lot of fun playing a few games, visiting and relaxing. We probably walked 100 miles and ate lots of great food. Thank you for those of you on the trip who put up with the screamer (Vaughn didn't like the car or being in his car seat). Yeah for Girls weekends!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Myra Turning Three - Reflections on Elaine



We are only three days from Myra Joanne Andrew's 3rd birthday. Third birthdays in our home are special for a very good reason. Whenever one of our children turn three years old we are reminded of our daughter, Elaine, who has yet to turn three in life; though she would be nine years old now if her life had not been cut short.

Elaine Ruth Andrew lived to be one day shy of her third birthday. We had already purchased gifts to give her. We had decorations ready. We were excited for her to be three years old. She was getting so big and so smart.

As any parent may do, we had a future in mind for Elaine. Her's, we thought, would inevitably be full of appointments with Cardiologists. Eventually she would need a heart transplant; the extra strain of being born without the Right Ventricle chamber would wear out the heart causing failure in her teenage years. After a heart transplant she would have to take medications every day to ensure the new heart would not be rejected. It is not the life you choose for your lovely little daughter; we loved her so much we excepted it without any hesitation.

Something went wrong with her little heart early that shattered all of the expectations we had for her life. After a particularly difficult bout with a cold she was left acting extremely tired and worn out. We took her to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City where the doctors discovered that her heart was already in failure. At two and a half years old she was struggling to stay alive. A heart transplant was her only hope for survival.



She was in the hospital for five weeks waiting for a heart. That much time in heart failure was extremely trying on her little body. We did what we could to make things enjoyable for her. I would sing along with songs from "The Wiggles" and do the dances she used to do only a few months earlier. She smiled a tired smile for me and attempted to move with the music. She wanted to dance with me but couldn't.

She wanted to go home so badly. If you mentioned home she would cry. We put up a sign in her room to let the nurses know that talking about home made her sad.

Though her spirit was strong, her body was too worn out to go on any further with her. The doctors recognized that she didn't have much more time to live. I sat in a rocking chair holding Elaine while Melissa sat to our side holding Elain's hand. Her body died there in my arms, early in the morning, April 19th 2004.

After a long and tiresome struggle, instead of going back with us to our home in Orem she went back to her home in Heaven to be with friends and family there. We were so sad to see her leave us here on earth because we could not yet be with her where she was going.

Because of Elaine third birthdays are special for us in our family.